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Arizona Celebrates National Adoption Day: A Call for Volunteers to Support Children in Foster Care

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In recognition of National Adoption Day, communities across Arizona are coming together this November to celebrate and raise awareness about adoption and foster care. This special day, held annually on the third Saturday of November, marks an important moment to acknowledge the formation of new families and the journey of children finding their forever homes.

The Arizona Supreme Court's Dependent Children's Services Division oversees two critical volunteer programs, the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) and the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), which play a pivotal role in supporting approximately 10,000 children currently in Arizona's foster care system. These programs thrive on the commitment and dedication of volunteers, and there is a significant need for more individuals to join in all of Arizona's 15 counties.

A current volunteer shared their experience, saying, "Being a part of this program is not just about helping kids and families; it's a journey that enriches your own life profoundly."

Volunteers are trained to focus on the child's well-being, advocating for reunification with parents when safe and feasible, or otherwise for a stable, permanent home with relatives or adoptive families. CASA and FCRB volunteers work to understand every aspect of a child's life, ensuring that their best interests are represented in all decisions.

CASA volunteers are tasked with visiting children, understanding their situations, and advocating for them in court and in various settings. This may involve interacting with teachers, foster families, parents, and service providers to make informed recommendations. A CASA volunteer remains with a child throughout their legal journey, often becoming a consistent, supportive figure in their lives.

FCRB volunteers, meanwhile, serve on a 5-member panel that meets virtually once a month. They review ongoing cases of children in foster care, gaining deep insight into each child's specific needs and circumstances until a permanent solution is found.

"You don't need to have a background in child welfare to make a significant impact. A compassionate heart is all it takes to guide a child through one of the toughest times of their life," said Charlie Gray, CASA Program Manager.

Prospective volunteers for both programs must be at least 21 years old, pass a fingerprint background check, and complete an introductory training program.

In addition to these roles, the Arizona Supreme Court is also seeking community members to join its over 30 standing committees and commissions, further expanding opportunities for civic involvement.

For those inspired to make a difference in a child's life, visit AZCASAVolunteer.org or azfcrb.org to learn more and apply. The journey of a volunteer is not just about changing a child's life – it often transforms their own.
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Thursday, 13 June 2024

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