Foster Care Newsletter | May 2021

Foster Care Newsletter | May 2021 May 20, 2021

Hello Families, and welcome to our new and improved Foster Care Newsletter!

We want to thank all of our youth and families for all the hard work, dedication, and resiliency everyone has shown through a difficult 2020 year and into this new year of 2021. We have such gratitude for the things you do each and every day and are proud to be by your sides in your life journeys.

Please enjoy our newsletter where you can find new and helpful information about San Diego Youth Services, information about our Resource Family Agency, resources for you as parents and youth, as well as cool interventions to add to your self-care tool kit! We look forward to sharing all the great things that all of you are doing as well as what we are doing as an agency; stay tuned! Thank you all for being you and what you bring to us.

Take care and stay safe, Families.

Anthony Parham, RFA Program Manager

Kudos Corner

The Foster Care Team wants to give a big shout out to the Class of 2021!

Congratulations on your well-deserved success, we understand that it may not have been easy, but you have done an amazing job navigating distance learning and finding a way to complete your Senior year.

We are proud to share in the excitement of your graduation and can’t wait to see your new endeavors.

Parents' Journeys

May is National Foster Care Month! We would like to take the time to recognize you and each part you play in enhancing the lives of our children and youth in foster care.

We would love to highlight your journeys and experiences throughout your resource parent journey. If you would like to share your story, please reach out to our Recruitment & Retention Coordinator, Aria Boone at

Therapy Corner

Breathing Techniques, You Can Try with Your Kiddo!

One of the most proven ways someone of any age can help themselves calm down is by incorporating a deep breathing technique. A focused breathing exercise activates the part of our nervous system that helps slow our heart rate and most importantly, our minds.

For children, blowing gently to create bubbles is a good way to be playful and breathe deeply. Kids have to blow carefully and slowly to make the bubbles, which is a major reason why I like using it to help kids take deep breaths.

Ideas for teenagers or adults is using the box technique. Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds. After doing the box technique repeatedly for 1-2 minutes a day, you may notice a gentle release of the stress that tends to creep into our daily lives.

Remember, no matter the age, we all feel stress and a deep breathing technique may help build a more calming mindset.  

Phillip F. Soliz, M.A. Counseling Psychology Lead Mental Health Clinician

Resource Center

Youth Resources
1. If you are in need of behavioral health information, support and resources please checkout Vista Hill’s SmartCare BHCS at You will be able to speak with a live Behavioral Health Educator to collaboratively find solutions to your child’s behavioral health needs.

2. Homeless, Abused, Angry: Najee Harris' unsteady path to Alabama 
The article above is an inspiring story of Najee Harris. Mr. Harris overcame childhood challenges that include verbal/physical abuse, domestic violence, housing and food insecurities to become a successful first round NFL draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Summer camp for foster youth and their siblings
Promises2Kids Camp Connect - each year Camp Connect organizes a fun-filled, four-day summer camp in the Julian mountains. At this special camp siblings connect through activities such as horseback riding, swimming, music therapy and zip lining, among others. or contact Christy Mader at 858-751-6613 or email

4. Book - “The hug who got stuck” by Andrew Newman
$9.99 on Amazon and there is a free read out loud on YouTube. Helps kids ages 3-8 to learn that sometimes it takes surrender for everything to get better. The book ends with your daily hug meter, a short set of questions to help children open to Giving and receiving love, and the value of surrender as an antidote to sticky thought

5. Appreciation game
This evening ritual was created by Compa! At night when you’re having dinner or putting your child to bed, you and your child each share something that someone did for you that day, that you appreciate.

Some fun and easy ways to connect with your kids through art and play (even with the big ones).

1. Dialogue in Color and Line - Conversation without using words
-You will need a piece of paper and any colors you have like pens, pencils, markers, crayons, chalk, etc.
-Communicate by taking turns using color and line only, responding to each other’s marks, as if you are having a conversation.
-Set a timer for 5-10 minutes
-Afterwards describe what you see
-Name the conversation, give it a title

2. Blind Contour Drawings
-Draw portraits of each other without looking at your paper
-Then compare your funny abstract portraits
-Color them in if you wish
-Can also be done on napkins at a restaurant when waiting for food

3. Call and Response
-Can use any percussion instrument and/or chop sticks, silver wear etc. by tapping them on different objects in your home to see what sound they make.
-Take turns repeating each other’s beats
-Can also be done with chants and song, make a beat make a rhyme!

Upcoming Trainings

Resource Parent Pre-Approval Training: Our next cohort for Resource Parents will be held May 18 – June 25th, Every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to  8 p.m. If you know of anyone who is interested in becoming a resource parent please ask them to reach out to our Recruitment and Retention, Aria Boone at


Hi Resource Parents and Families!

We are working diligently to keep you in compliance. Please check all documentation that regularly expires, such as Driver’s License, Home-Renters Insurance, Car Insurance, Car Registration, etc.

We will also send agreements that will need updated signature.

Upload any updated documentation to Extended Reach or email to our Recruitment and Retention, Aria Boone at

From the SDYS Blog:

Foster Care Newsletter | May 2021

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