Keeping Arizona Families Together
Like so many of you, our family is personally committed to helping children live in a safe, secure, and healthy home. That is why it is my joy to serve as Chair of the Governor’s Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment. The Council exists to align, leverage, and coordinate faith-based and community resources to solve challenges faced by Arizona’s most vulnerable children and families.
One of the visions of the Council is that no child in Arizona is removed from their family because of an unmet family need. With this vision in mind, I am delighted to tell you about the Arizona CarePortal Project, one of many partnerships formed or expanded through the Council.
There are times when a loving, caring family cannot provide for their child’s basic needs. This puts the family at risk of the child being removed and placed into state custody. But what if the Department of Child Safety had a tool to connect families in crisis with local faith-based organizations willing to lend a hand?
The Arizona CarePortal Initiative is a collaborative partnership between the Council, the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, the Department of Child Safety (DCS), and the CarePortal. Through this partnership a child welfare worker is now able to uncover a family’s need and connect them to a local congregation that is willing and able to help.
Simple as an Email
The process starts with a child welfare worker identifying an unmet need. DCS submits this need through the CarePortal. Then, using geo-radius technology, CarePortal quickly sends an email with all the details to participating churches in their community. DCS then connects the church that is able to meet this need with the family.
Now, more than ever, I am convinced that by working together we WILL reduce the number of children in foster care and help Arizona families THRIVE. Since the initial launch of the Arizona CarePortal Project just 15 months ago, 442 families have stayed together, impacting 1,120 children. Forty-nine churches have already enrolled with the CarePortal with the potential of thousands more joining the effort.
Join the Movement
Not all of us can become a foster parent but everyone can do their part to help meet a basic need. It is my hope that EVERY church does a little to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and families. My husband and I are personally committed to the success of the Arizona CarePortal Initiative. Will you please join us in serving Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens?
Together we will create a brighter future for all of Arizona.