Foster parents changing lives one family at a time

Compared to the rest of the country, Arizona has an especially pressing child welfare situation. The Arizona Department of Child Safety caseload exceeds national standards by 78 percent.

This means there are currently more than 17,500 children in foster care in our state and each month 600 children being taken into protective custody.

The average amount of time spent in state care for these children is two years, but 6 percent of foster children have spent more than five years in foster care.

As the number of foster care children in Arizona state care has surged, more foster parents are sharing how they’ve opened their homes and hearts to encourage others to support children in need.

KTAR News host Mac Watson, is one of those individuals. If you’ve been following his journey on social media, you’ve seen a unique peek into the complications, joy and heartbreak of foster care.

“Working with Child Crisis Arizona, I saw first-hand how many kids in Arizona needed help. But it was when someone said, “when you think you can’t, you can” that is what really motivated my wife and I to take that first step and become foster parents. It has become a life-changing journey for me and it’s amazing how resilient children can be.” 

While Mac’s story is inspiring, he and foster parents like him can not do it alone. It takes a caring community and organizations that devote their time and attention to the mission of child welfare.  

Two such organizations are Child Crisis Arizona and Arizona Helping Hands, both of whom are the beneficiaries of this years’ Caring For Kids Collection Drive.

You can help these local organizations offer foster kids and families the gift of hope this holiday season. Here are a few things you can do to make an impact RIGHT NOW:

  • Visit www.caringforkidsaz.com to find a list of the most needed donation items for foster families
  • Bring donations to any Canyon State Credit Union Branch (link to locations) or the live broadcast on Dec. 8 at Kohl’s on 55th Avenue and Bell Road.
  • Consider making a year-end contribution to Child Crisis Arizona or Arizona Helping Hands and receive the charitable foster care tax credit.
  • Volunteer your time.

For more information and ways you can help, take a look at commonly asked questions about foster care.

About Canyon State Credit Union: Canyon State Credit Union has served the people of Arizona for more than 60 years, and is open for membership from anyone who lives, works, or worships in a number of zip codes within Arizona, as well as anyone who works for the credit union’s designated Select Employee Groups (SEGs). Their tagline at Canyon State is Committed To YOU™.   It’s not just a saying they take lightly, it’s a promise they make to provide members with the best products and services possible.