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Heat Safety Awareness

During the summer months, a child left in a hot car can die of heatstroke very quickly. Dozens of U.S. children lose their lives this way each year, but these tragedies can be prevented. Here is what parents need to know about the danger of hot cars, and steps they can take to help keep their children safe.

Facts about hot cars & heat stroke

  • Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children younger than 15. Heatstroke happens when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.
  • A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than adults.
    • When left in a hot car, a child’s major organs begin to shut down when her/his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
    • A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees F.
  • Cars heat up quickly! In just 10 minutes, the temperature of a vehicle can increase by as much as 20 degrees F.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.
  • Heatstroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees F.
  • Because of climate change, we can expect more days to be hotter. Also, hotter days can happen throughout the year.

Things you can do to prevent the unthinkable

Keep in mind: Any parent or caregiver, even a very loving and attentive one, can forget a child is in the back seat. Being especially busy, distracted or having a change from the usual routine increases the risk.

Here are some safety reminders from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Always check the back seat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
  • Be extra alert when there is a change in your routine, like when someone else is driving your child or you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your child-care provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
  • Put your cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
  • If someone else is driving your child, always check to make sure s/he has arrived safely.
  • Keep your car locked when it is parked to prevent a curious child from entering when no one is around. Many hot car deaths have occurred when a child mistakenly locks themselves inside.
  • Make sure children do not have easy access to your car keys. Store them out of a child’s reach.
  • Teach children that cars are not safe places to play.
  • Keep rear fold-down seats closed to prevent a child from crawling into the trunk from inside the car.
  • Remind children that cars, especially car trunks, should not be used for games like hide-and-seek.

Important Tip: If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk!


Oklahoma Care Provider of the Month

Stephanie Ryherd and Isaac Hindman have been selected as the Oklahoma Care Providers of the Month. The couple took placement of a sibling set of three toddlers under the age of four this past January. This is the family’s first placement since becoming certified. All three of the children have developmental delays and had few words at the time of placement. The family has been very proactive about getting the children into services and head start programs to assist in meeting their needs. They are patient and loving with the children as they help them learn to express themselves. The children are happy and have made significant progress since being placed with the Ryherd/Hindman family. This family is an asset to TFI and we appreciate all they do.


Oklahoma News


Oklahoma foster parents are invited to attend our monthly virtual support group meetings. Our next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 20. There are door prizes given throughout the one-hour meeting as we discuss parenting tips and any policy changes. We invite participation in discussion of pertinent information.

An invite will be sent via email to all foster parents prior to the meeting and a reminder email sent the week prior to our meeting. You will receive one hour of training credit for attending. We hope you can join us in July. If you have any topics you would like to discuss, please talk to your worker or their supervisor prior to the meeting.

Texas Care Provider of the Month

This month we would like to highlight foster parents Derrell and Jamie Moore of Lewisville. During home visits, their Case Manager Stephanie Ruiz has shared the privilege of observing this couple providing a loving and nurturing home to a sibling group in need. The Moores and their children enjoy attending community events, outings to the park, swimming and church. The children in foster care consistently express they feel loved and desire to reside in the home long-term. We are proud to be partnered with the Moore family to meet the needs of children in Texas.

Training Corner

Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss is an alarming reality for many caregivers and educators. The good news is that there are ways to help prevent some of that learning loss over the summer.

You may hear this referred to as summer setback or the summer slide. Summer learning loss is when students return to school at a lower academic level than the end of the last school year. This can happen when your child does not use or practice the skills he or she learned at school during summer vacation.

Read the article below, fill out the quiz and send to your worker for credit. 

Need Additional Training?

Check out these other training opportunities in July

Recruitment Spotlight

The Recruitment Department would like to thank all our TFI Foster Families for another great year in recruitment. Once again our top referral method this last year was our Foster Family referrals. We were able to license/certify more than 70 new foster homes thanks to our Foster Families. So to celebrate and recognize our families, we are going to have some really fun recruitment contests for all of our families this year. You will be able to win some really cool prizes simply for referring a family to TFI who becomes a licensed/certified home.

If you would like more information on our Ambassador Program and how the referral system works, please email, and I will get back with you to explain the program in detail. Thank you for all you do for our TFI children, and here’s to an exciting new year ahead. If you have a family that is interested in starting their journey to become licensed, please have them call our hotline at 833-7FOSTER.

As always, “Happy Recruiting”!

Jason Cecil
Director of Regional Recruitment

Fund Development

Happy 4th of July!

A quick update on fund development – we had an absolute blast at our Oklahoma Rodeo last month. There were more than 500 people in attendance and a good time was had by all. Many new folks learned about the good work being done by families and workers with TFI, and funds were raised to help Oklahoma children. Thanks for all who came out and for those who served!

The next event on our calendar is our annual Golf Ball Drop to raise money for Christmas presents. This “Christmas in July” fundraiser will start soon. Be on the lookout for details!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any contacts, questions, or fun stories of generosity at 918-728-3378 or at Thanks for all you do!

Oklahoma/Texas: Steven Mandeville | 918-728-3378 | 
Kansas/Nebraska: Sheila Kearney | 785-213-6161 | 
Events & Volunteer Coordinator: Libby Hayden | 785-294-6606 |

The winner of this month’s newsletter giveaway is Terra Turner from Oklahoma. Terra, to claim your $25 Amazon gift card, please email your foster care worker and tell them you won the giveaway. You must email your worker within the month of July to accept your prize.

Happy Anniversary

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to children in need.

24 Years
William & Nancy Weigant

17 Years
Jesse & Barbara McCarley
Orlando & Sheila Garza

9 Years
James & Becky Wheeler
Jennie Steele
Jesse & Kara Larimore
Keith & Sheila Kroenke
Mark & Wendy Leenerts
Jeffrey & Heather Martens

1 Year 
Paul & Carrie Loar
Joshua Collins & Melissa Gardner
Jason & Marcellina Satterfield
Shawn & Jennifer Stoner
Natalie & Starla Kibbe
Jeff Swindler & Amy Roadhouse-Swindler
Kasey Delarosa
Lacey Jones
Kelly Sims
Collin & Kirstin Adams
Chris & Jennifer Bennett
Daric Stacy
Garrett & Elizabeth Raney
Tanya Gordon