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Showing posts from March, 2019

Helping Families Heal - AZ Tax Credit at Work

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Imagine.....being removed from your family and your home. Being taken away from everything you know. Maybe you could grab something that is important to you, maybe not. Imagine seeing your parents taken away by law enforcement. Imagine the trauma in your life that brought you to this place in time. The stress, the worry, the uncertainty, the emotions. Now imagine as if you are that child the first time you see your parents and siblings after all of that happened. You are in a different home with new rules, new foods, a new place to sleep, new school, surrounded by new people....new everything.

The Arizonans for Children Visitation Centers are places where families in foster care come while working towards reunification. The centers are judgement free - we don't know what brought the family to this point and that is OK, we don't need to know. What we do know if that the time at the centers allow for happy memories to be created. Memories that can help heal the trauma that brought…

Mentor Visit Highlights - Help Clear the Wait List!

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Arizonans for Children Mentors are amazing people that just simply care.  These volunteers pick their mentee up, a mentee is a child in foster care, and take them out in to the community.  They explore, they discover, they bond and they heal.

8 hours a month and a year commitment to the child changes lives!  Both the mentee as well as the Mentor.

From Mentors Eric and Suzy:

"This week with our Big Mentee - Batting Cages, Hot Wings, a Museum, Books, and blue Ice Cream!
We started at D-BAT Mesa for some batting practice, our little buddy loves soccer, but wanted to give the batting cages a try, fun stuff. Next stop, refueling at Native New Yorker Gilbert & the 60, little buddy loves hot wings. Then we went to the Arizona Museum of Natural History - pretty amazing place, I've lived in Mesa a long time, but have never been there. Our buddy loved the dinosaurs, the panning for gold, the jail, and the Arizona in the movies section - where Suzy attempted to explain that movies …

Special Education Legal Assistance for Arizona Foster Youth with Disabilities

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As I was giving Amanda with Arizona Center for Disability Law a tour of the Arizonans for Children Phoenix Visitation Center yesterday we passed this mom and her little one snuggling while watching a movie.  Our Visitation Centers are the perfect place to help families heal.   Mom and baby bonding while the case aid monitors their interactions.  
One of my goals is to have classes and workshops for the parents as they work towards reunification.  As I spoke with Amanda yesterday about an event we have coming up where she is presenting I asked if she could share the information with the parents at our centers.  As Amanda explained the educational legal rights of children with disabilities within the foster care system and the role that their bio parents can have; I realized that there was a lot I did not know and it made me wonder if the parents are aware? 
The good news, this is what Amanda does!  She is looking at her calendar now and we are coming up with dates and times that will work…

Thank you Author Susan Stoltz and Pygmy Giraffe Publishing!

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3/13/2019

You know it is going to be a wonderful day when you hear from a local author that she has some of her books to share with the kids at the Arizonans for Children Visitation Centers!
Thank you Susan R. Stoltz and Pygmy Giraffe Publishing for such a generous donation to the children we serve, kids in the foster care system.
These books are beautiful and the kids are going to LOVE them. To be able to have their own copies to take with them is wonderfully healing. Something of their very own that can easily move with them from placement to placement.
That they will get the books while they have visits with their parents and siblings creates memories that heal.
Would you like to volunteer to read stories to the families on site?  email az4children.laura@gmail.com and ask to be part of the Arizonans for Children STAR (Story Time and Reading) program.

3/14/2019

What an extra special day it is at the Arizonans for Children Visitation Centers!  The kids having visits each get to choose and…

What a weekend at Arizonans for Children! Technology, technology and more technology!

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What a weekend at Arizonans for Children!  Technology, technology and more technology!

We were very fortunate to be part of AZ Give Camp's Hack-a-Thon where teams of developers volunteer their time and expertise to engineer solutions for non-profits.  The hack-a-thon started Friday afternoon at 3:00pm and went all the way until Sunday at 4:00pm!



Thanks to my new best friend Chris Huie, Arizonans for Children participated in this fantastic opportunity.  Our team Tomas, Mandy and Cindy listened to our agency needs, tossed ideas around and came up with the perfect solution.  This team developed an electronic check-in system that will offer faster check in and out times that will translate into more quality time spent on a visit for the families using the centers. This new system also tracks the data creating seamless reports while respecting and protecting the confidentiality of our clients.  All of this was done with the knowledge that cost  is always a factor in non-profits and th…

International Women's Day 2019 - Arizonans for Children

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Today is International Women's Day. Arizonans for Children has the most genuine, determined, kind, passionate group of women! Every day these ladies come up with new ways to Help Families Heal; their ingenuity is beyond noteworthy. When this group identifies an issue they take the steps to ensure all needs are met. We work hard, we care, we are methodical and consistent, we smile and laugh, we are wacky on Wednesdays and celebrate every occasion with the families we serve. We are Arizonans for Children! This group of women....I am truly honored to be surrounded by them! Thank you all for all you do! Kaye McCarthy - Founder and President
Andrea Chavez - Director of Supervised Visits
Pamela Woods - Supervised Visits Coordinator
Belen Lopez - Supervised Visits Assistant
Monique Quinones - Tutor/Mentor Outreach Coordinator
Paige Deist-Goranson - Visitation Center Coordinator Each a piece of the puzzle that makes Arizonans for Children

www.arizonansforchildren.org


2019 Foster Festival at Enchanted Island Amusement Park

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After months of preparation and planning, worries about rain; the community came together for the 2019 Foster Festival at Enchanted Island Amusement Park.  The event went off without a hitch creating life long lasting memories for kids in the foster care system.

Saturday February 23, 2019 saw thousands of children and their caregivers arrive at Enchanted Island.  Some of the kids have been to this event before and knew how fun the day would be while others waited with nervous excitement for the day to begin.  For kids in the foster care system fear often weighs in equal parts to excitement because of the unknown.  They want to trust their caregivers that it will be a fun day but years in the system makes them weary.



Getting off the shuttle that brought the kids to the event from the parking structure at Phoenix College they could smell the popcorn and hear the live music playing.
The kids were greeted by superheroes from The Dark Empire, The Avengers and The Ghostbusters and even som…