Would you like to make a positive difference in your community but aren’t sure where to start? We’ve created a handy guide to volunteer opportunities in Arizona, providing details about:
- How to become a foster care volunteer in AZ
- Different volunteer opportunities in foster care/supporting organizations
- Ways to support kids in foster care via donations, volunteering and more
With nearly 14,000 Arizona children in foster care, there is a constant need for volunteers and community organizations willing to provide help, services, and financial support. There are so many opportunities to get involved, making it possible for virtually everyone to make a difference in their own way.
Volunteer Opportunities to Help Kids in Foster Care for Your Local Community
One of the most common assumptions about how to help children in foster care is that you must have a generous amount of time or money to have a positive impact. However, there are many ways to be a foster care volunteer or donor, ranging from those that require just a few moments of your time to other, more involved options.
For example, volunteer opportunities through the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation include:
- Serving on the awards committee for our Penson Fund and other financial awards
- Supporting marketing efforts to increase community awareness
- Serving on the selection committee for the AFFCF post-secondary scholarship program
- Participating in outreach efforts
One of the simplest ways to help youth in foster care is to make a tax-deductible donation to an Arizona non-profit, such as the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. Not only will your contribution go directly to programs supporting Valley youth, but it can also qualify you for a tax credit under the Arizona Foster Care Tax Credit program. This can make financial contributions more accessible – and more affordable – to all.
Become a Driver
Like all children, foster care youth need transportation to doctor appointments, school functions, and other events. Oftentimes, they also need a trusted adult to bring them to and from visits with their birth family. You can volunteer to be a driver for foster care agencies in your state, with specific details available directly from your local agency.
Respite care gives foster parents a short, scheduled break from the responsibilities of fostering, allowing them time to attend to personal or family commitments. Volunteering as a respite care provider can take the form of babysitting for a few hours of a time, or even serving as an emergency, short-term foster care parent.
Become a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate)
As a CASA, you’ll help make sure that no children fall through the cracks of the large, complex foster care system. Your role will be to ensure that children are fairly advocated for and that their voices are heard throughout every stage of the process.
Help Provide Work for Older Foster Youth
Teens in foster care often struggle to find employment, but a job can be the key to their future independence. If you’re able to provide jobs or internships for youth in foster care, it can make an incredible difference in both their present and future for years to come.
Become a Foster Parent
If you’re ready to learn how to become a foster parent in Arizona, you’re embarking on a journey that will make it possible to touch the lives of so many children along the way. Foster families give children a safe, loving home for a temporary period so that their birth parents have the opportunity to make the necessary changes to reunite with their children. You could provide the stability, care and compassion a child needs during one of the most difficult times of their life as a foster parent.
Keys to Success: Informational Interviews
AFFCF Keys to Success is a one-of-a-kind program for teens and young adults in foster care, providing critical career development and education services for youth preparing to transition out of the system and into independent adulthood. We maintain a list of working professionals who are willing to be interviewed by youth enrolled in the program, specifically about their professional experiences and career options in their field of expertise.
If you would like to be added to our list, please email your name, contact information, and your fields of expertise to Diane Daily at email@example.com.
Be a Part of Our Mission to Improve the Lives of Arizona Children in Foster Care
Whether you’re able to offer your time, financial support, or another form of help, you can truly make a difference in the lives of children in foster care in Arizona – every contribution counts!
For more information about foster care volunteer opportunities and other ways to help, contact AFFCF today.
Featured Image: MIA Studio/Shutterstock