Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Bird

Little bird, with us you were placed,

With a wounded wing
And a weary face,
A broken family, 
A broken heart,
In the system before your life did start.
Weighed down by sorrow, grief and strife,
It's all you've known in your short life
You're scared and confused 
But do you know?
I believe in you and I love you so.
Big brown eyes,
Filled with fear,
Seen too much in your few years.
You've paid the price for adult mistakes,
At the mercy of others to decide your fate.
Precious child, do you know?
I believe in you and I love you so.
My heart is conflicted
With both hope and fear.
I turn away so you can't see my tears.
I pray for answers.
What more can I do?
How can I be a strength for you?
Please let me help you,
do you know?
I believe in you
And I love you so.
Hearts can be mended
Through the power of love.
Prayers can be answered
From heaven above.
You can be whatever you choose.
You've broken the cycle
You can't lose.
You're going to survive this
I hope you know,
I believe in you
And I love you so.
From mummy Beth x

Written by Beth Campbell Pugmire

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where do your leaders come from?

Where do your leaders come from?
This week we are continuing on our look at the laws that govern DCS. The next law in place for DCS is one that covers the appointment of the Director. The current Director is George McKay.  He was appointed to the Director position by Governor Ducey in February of 2015.
According to DCS website Director McKay has experience with investigations and comes from a Law enforcement background. This is not the only reason he was chosen as the current director.
News reports show that in 2013 McKay was responsible for calling out the agency, then known as CPS, for failure to investigate 6,000 cases of child abuse and neglect. This is one of the reasons it seems that he was appointed to this position.
It’s comforting to know that someone who wants to see children being taken care of has been appointed. The goal for all of us is to make sure that children are being properly cared for. We want families that can be kept together, to be together. We want children that are being abused to have a safe place. We want Foster families to get the support they need.
I would like to take a moment to thank Director McKay for the work he did prior to entering DCS. His ability to take a stand to let the state know that children were being neglected was not an easy thing to do. The stand isn’t over, there are still many children in need in Arizona. As we continue to work together we can see changes.
Title 8-452 Director; appointment; qualifications; compensation
  1. The governor shall appoint the director of the department pursuant to section 38-211. The director serves at the pleasure of the governor.
  2. At a minimum, the director shall have:
  1. Administrative experience in the protection of children from maltreatment and in family support services.
  2. Qualifications and training that enable the director to manage the affairs of the department.
  1. The director is eligible to receive compensation pursuant to section 38-611.
    Please be advised, this is not legal advice. If you have any questions in reference to the law please contact an attorney.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Why Foster?

If you are familiar with ASA Now you will see #19,000 reasons. That is the number of children in foster care in Arizona. There are so many children in need of a good home. Those who take on this task are to be applauded.

The job, like parenthood is rewarding. Being able to hold that small sleeping child, to comfort these children. The smell of baby powder and fresh laundry. Watching a child take their first step, or their face light up when they learn something new. There is nothing like it. These moments in each parent’s life are heart bursting. They well up such joy inside us, it can’t be contained.

I’m going to be honest with you. Being a foster parent isn’t for the weak. The joy’s and triumphs come with pain and heart break. Watching a child go on visits and come back emotionally hurting is hard. Sending a child back to their parents or onto a new family, is heart wrenching. It’s not easy to connect with a child then watch them go.

Why do we do it?
Because at the end of the day there is a need. Children in foster care need a place to call home. Broken families sometimes just need a little help to get better.

At ASA Now our goal is to help families in any way that we can. One of the ways we are doing that is by making the laws you are affected by understandable. We will be doing a series of blogs focusing on the laws that govern DCS, foster and adoptive families.

DCS is governed by the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 8, Chapter 4. This applies to what their job title is and how they are run. Please be advised this is not legal advice. This is to inform, if you have any further questions please contact an attorney.

The Purpose of DCS is outlined as A.R.S. 8-451 Department; Purpose.[1]
A.   The department of child safety is established
B.    The primary purpose of the department is to protect children. To achieve this purpose, the department shall do and focus equally on the following:
1.     Investigate reports of abuse and neglect.
2.     Assess, promote and support the safety of a child in a safe or stable family or other appropriate placement in response to allegations of abuse or neglect.
3.     Work cooperatively with law enforcement regarding reports that include criminal conduct allegations.
4.     Without compromising child safety, coordinate services to achieve and maintain permanency on behalf of the child, strengthen the family and provide prevention, intervention and treatment services pursuant to this chapter.

[1] Arizona Revised Statutes available online

About the Author
Amber Palma is a writer and single mother of two who spends her spare time working full time in Public Safety. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day

Written By Amber Palma

ASA Now has made changes in Arizona State law. This would not be possible without the hard work of our forefathers. These changes are made because we know that our freedom gives us this right.
In 1776 our forefathers adopted what is now our declaration of independence. The words that were written were to free us from a tyranny of English rule. The English felt that they owned us because we came from England. Their right was to invade our homes and tax our lands. “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.[i]

By signing the Declaration of Independence, we committed to our freedom. The voting in of the Declaration actually occurred on July 2nd. July 4th was adopted as the Declaration date, due to the date listed on it. It was not until 1870 that Congress voted to make July 4th a national holiday. This was due in part to the fact that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th,

This 4th of July as we celebrate our freedom and independence let us not forget the reason. Our forefathers fought a war that claimed our independence from the British but also made us a free people. A people who are able to make decisions about the government that rules them. A people who if the government impedes on their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have the right to abolish or alter it. “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it,”[i]

We the people. The free people of the United States have a say. These rights we so often take for granted are not to be forgotten. Our Forefathers fought for these rights. To forget the cost would be dishonoring our history. This 4th of July as you watch fireworks and barbecue, take a moment of silence. For all the men and women who gave their life to declare our freedom. For the men and women who fight to defend those rights today. Freedom is not free. It was bought with a price.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. ~Thomas Jefferson.

[i] Declaration of Independence

Amber Palma


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It will never be easy, but it will be WORTH IT!

As a foster parent, you know the children who come into foster care may have experienced traumatic things. Some children have witnessed things you would never let your own children see on t.v. but these children have experienced them in person. And regardless of what they have experienced, just the fact that they had to be removed from their homes and everything that is familiar to them — their toys, their friends, their school and sometimes their brothers and sisters — is traumatic. But they are still children.

Think about how you feel when you have had to face a major loss. It's really hard to understand what's happening and why it had to happen. Now imagine you're going through that at the age of five. If grown-ups can't deal with stuff sometimes, we can't expect children to do better. When children don't have the words to express their emotions, they act out. They may be angry. They may lapse back to baby-like behaviors, including wetting the bed. Not because they're bad, but because they don't have any other way to express their grief. Yes, it can be challenging, but you will not be out there alone. You will have people supporting you, encouraging you, and helping you know how to best help these children.

Our hope & vision for Jacob's Community Center is to provide a "family like community" for foster children so they can have a place to go where they don't feel different. It will be a place for foster parents to go and get support, even if it's just to be able to sit down with other parents who deal with the serious issues on a day-to-day basis too and have someone to talk to about their daily struggles or accomplishments.

What are some of your kids' favorite activities? Is there something that helps them cope better when having a bad day?


Written by Lisa Wallace

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Beating the Foster Care Statistics

I entered into foster care a very scared 16 year old. I bounced around my whole life, until this point, with my single mother, her never-ending boyfriends and my half sister. As a child we moved so much I never had a sense of home.

Foster Care was my only option over a longer juvenile jail sentence. A judgment put upon me after I was arrested, while defending myself from my mother's cocaine fueled rage.

I didn't understand at the time what was happening to me, or why my family couldn’t just go back to being "normal"? Why were my choices being made for me by a caseworker? I was honest about the abuse, wasn't anyone listening? Nothing was the same for me after that. That would be the last time I lived with my mother.

I remember meeting my foster parents and how they looked at me with wide eyes. I was an angry teen and I refused to allow myself to like them, or even get to know them. I felt so betrayed and abandoned by my own mother, I trusted no one.  I just wanted out of this new foster home.  I decided after that  first night I was there, that I would run. I plotted my escape and I ran from foster care into the world. I bounced around from place to place, just like I was taught.

My caseworker was never heard from again. I aged out and grew up quickly.  I will tell you that most of the statistics about foster children who age-out are indeed True.

I dropped out of school at 16, pregnant by 18, and allowed drugs and alcohol to fuel my world for a short time. I always knew deep down, that was NOT who I was. I didn't have to stay a statistic. I was more than my past and my abuse.

GOD is bigger than this hurt; and HE saved me. HE allowed amazing people to come into my life and help fill in the gaps where I was forced to stop growing at 16. I was blessed to go  back to school and I graduated with GED Honors. Sheriff Joe Arpaio presented me with my diploma!

I went on to college, and have completed numerous courses. I am proudest to write I have completed and continue to work the Celebrate Recovery Program.

I married an amazing man, and thankfully 19 years later; we are still in love. We have 2 biological sons, and I quickly realized how much I loved being a Mom!! My husband and I have been foster parents for 9 years now. I can't truly express what takes place when we get that call and a new child is placed in our home, Excitement! Fear! Somehow I know and understand their need to feel loved, and to feel accepted.

I am thankful God has allowed the vision of Jacob’s Mission Community Center to come to life. A place where foster children will be accepted and loved. I am excited to be a part of something that will continue to bless generations to come!


To learn more about our center, visit us at

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fostering and Adopting

If you'd like to learn more about fostering or adopting from Arizona reach out to us at