Arizona nonprofit, Child Crisis Arizona (CCA), is meeting the needs of children who are in foster care and vulnerable families who are also strengthened through their support. According to AZCentral, with educational programs and mentoring, Child Crisis Arizona is helping thousands of vulnerable children and families who may be at risk. With the mission “to provide children and youth in Arizona [with] a safe environment, free from abuse and neglect, by creating strong and successful families,” this nonprofit is making a difference in many lives and communities.
For teenagers being supported by Child Crisis Arizona, volunteers are mentoring them through activities such as dance, music, art, and science. Additionally, learning life skills has also become an important part of the experience children have in this program. One example is the help from seamstress Susanne Sauer who volunteers with Child Crisis Arizona helping teenagers learn how to sew. She has been helping teenage boys living in a CCA group home learn how to thread, stitch fabrics, and how to make designs through embroidery. Sauer shared that “we have to invest in the needs of young teens, just inspire them and make them feel worthy […] I try to uplift them every chance I get.”
In recognizing that most people adopt younger children, CEO of Child Crisis Arizona, Torrie Taj, wants families to know that they can also adopt teens. AZCentral reports, “teenagers make up 40% of the state’s child welfare system. And more than 1,200 youths between the ages of 18 and 20 are aging out of the system.” Finding that the “cycle of poverty” often continues with families in which parents weren’t fostered or adopted and getting the services they needed, Taj shares that one of the major goals of the nonprofit is to break the cycle.
As part of the Season for Sharing campaign, Child Crisis Arizona raised $2.1 million and provided $132,500 in grants to other local nonprofits assisting children in foster care, according to AZCentral. Some of the nonprofits that received grant money include Children’s Action Alliance, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids, Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, and OCJ Kids. For Child Crisis Arizona, their growth has been extraordinary with an increase of $15 million in annual spending, and an increase in their capacity for being able to help more children and families. With their expanded financial support, Child Crisis Arizona plans to build a new Center for Child and Family Wellness, which will undoubtedly provide additional life-changing experiences for children and their families.