The League of Super Heroes Helping AZ Foster Kids

The League of Super Heroes Helping AZ Foster Kids

The help foster children across AZ can look forward to receiving from these real life superheroes.

Mona Stephens Head Shot

By Mona Stephens

Most can recall a time during childhood or, even, adulthood where they felt left out. In those moments, dark feelings of isolation and low self-worth creep in. It makes sense, after all, belonging is a primary need for humans according to Maslow.

Unfortunately, in Arizona, nearly 18 thousand kids in foster care experience this “left out” feeling most intensely. From losing their families to being placed in a situation that, in many cases, doesn’t afford them the luxuries of a “normal” childhood.

Luckily the foster youth around Arizona have their very own league of heroes whose main goal is to make the lives of foster children better and help them have as close to a “normal” childhood as possible. These heroes hail from Yuma, Pima, Coconino, Yavapai, Apache, Navajo, and Mohave counties and make up the CASA Support Councils of Arizona.

 

“Every financial decision I make, I ask myself “is it taking away from the kiddos?” That’s why I find it hard to get behind hiring staff when the money can go directly to the kiddos.”

CASA support Councils of Arizona
CASA Support Council Meeting 9/14/2018

Two Fridays ago on September 14th, 2018, representatives for CASA Support Councils around Arizona met in Flagstaff to collaborate, share ideas, support each other, and talk about their new initiatives to help those in foster care.

The group discussed hiring staff, expanding programs, covering medical needs, qualifying for the AZ Tax Credit, and a slew of other topics. Their genuine concern and care for those in the foster system was evident and permeated all conversation. For example, in a discussion surrounding staffing, Ron from the Mohave CASA Support Council stated “every financial decision I make, I ask myself “is it taking away from the kiddos?” That’s why I find it hard to get behind hiring staff when the money can go directly to the kiddos.”

Below you will find a list of the CASA Support Councils present at this meeting, some updates on their organizations, and accomplishments. 

Yuma Council-  This Council developed a new website and continued to increase awareness of their nonprofit around Yuma County. Awareness of their organization increased so much that they are now serving foster children throughout the entire county and receiving requests for help from sources other then CASAs. 

Pima Council– The Pima Council has enacted a tutoring program where they get CASAs to work with teachers to identify a foster child’s deficits. Once the deficits are found, the Pima Council provides individualized tutoring for the youth.

(West) Yavapai Council– This Council is in a state of transformation. They have hired a new Executive Director to run the organization and manage their new AmeriCorps volunteer and part-time employee. They have plans to expand their service to provide direct care to those transitioning out of foster care, create a family visitation center in Prescott Valley, and open an office.

(East) Yavapai County– This Council is in the process of building a space for the community to relax in nature at the Cottonwood Community School in their garden.

Navajo Council– This Council has spent the last year seeing an increase in special medical need requests for help from foster families. In fact, 1/3 of their grants have gone to assist foster children with unique medical needs not covered by the state.

Maricopa Council– This Council’s main focus is to get more CASAs in Maricopa County because of the high volume of foster children and lack of CASAs. They also provide the basic necessities for foster kids in Maricopa like shoes, clothes, and hygiene supplies.

 Apache Council– This relatively new Council is run by two extraordinary people. In their short existence, they have managed to do a back to school drive for foster children and are planning a Holiday toy drive for foster children.

Mohave Council– Mohave’s Council extended their services to include life books.

Coconino Council– This Council received the Women Empowering Northern Arizona award for $14,000 dollars. – This Council’s main focus is to get more CASAs in Maricopa County because of the high volume of foster children and lack of CASAs. They also provide the basic necessities for foster kids in Maricopa like shoes, clothes, and hygiene supplies.

Apache Council– This relatively new Council is run by two extraordinary people. In their short existence, they have managed to do a back to school drive for foster children and are planning a Holiday toy drive for foster children.

Mohave Council– Mohave’s Council extended their services to include life books.

Coconino Council– This Council received the Women Empowering Northern Arizona award for $14,000 dollars. 

Need some extra help for your foster child in Arizona? Contact your local CASA office and ask about the CASA Support Council in your county.

 

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