Children enter foster care through no fault of their own due to abuse, neglect, and abandonment. What they need most are safe, stable relationships with caring and trusted adults. AASK recruits, screens, trains, and supports foster and adoptive families, with a special focus on kinship caregivers. Kinship caregivers include grandparents, aunts, and uncles who take emergency placement of children and try to keep their families together.
T.W. Lewis Foundation Support
The foster care system can be confusing and complex, especially for kinship caregivers who did not expect to be raising the children placed in their homes. Almost 45% of Arizona's children in foster care are living with kinship caregivers who are unlicensed and who often experience financial and emotional hardships not faced by other foster families.
The T.W. Lewis Foundation is helping AASK to provide key support to foster and adoptive families by helping to fund two new staff positions.
To better meet the needs of foster families, AASK developed AZFamilyResources.org, a free resource and information website that gives families immediate access to answers upon child placement. The T.W. Lewis Foundation is helping to fund a position to provide "live human" support to families using the AZFamilyResources.org website. This foster care professional is dedicated to responding to families personally and offering valuable guidance.
In addition, the T.W. Lewis Foundation is helping to fund a Foster Family Crisis Manager, whose role is to assist foster families if they hit a crisis point. The Foster Family Crisis Manager will offer intensive coaching and expertise to help families succeed and be able to keep the foster children in their homes.
When families do better, children do better.
"I'm 70 years old, and I never thought at this age that I would be raising a grandchild. If I didn't do this, I wouldn't feel right about anything. Without the support of AASK, I don't know if I could have done such a successful job as I am doing right now. What I am trying to do is make sure he has a good life, that he can take care of himself when he is older, as a young adult."
~ AASK Kinship Grandfather