Lack of volunteers is hurting children in Arizona’s foster-care system

Each of the 15,869 children in Arizona’s foster-care system are supposed to have an advocate, someone who fills a role somewhere between friend and lawyer. But only 10 percent of those children had court-appointed special advocates to assist them through the trauma of being separated from their families, according to figures from late June. The court-appointed special advocates, or CASA, program, which […]

Foster Care Arizona Daily Star investigation: Fixing our foster care crisis

After peaking with nearly 19,000 children in foster care in 2016, Arizona set out to keep more families together and pull fewer kids from their homes.Some changes are taking hold, and the number of kids in out-of-home care is trending downward. But the state still hasn’t tackled the bigger question: How can we solve the […]

Richard Wexler: SB 1473 is a detour from real child welfare reform and would remove the kinship care preference in Arizona law. Study after study has shown children do better when placed with relatives. 

Remember “crack babies”? Back in the 1980s, they were the infants supposedly doomed to a life of “certain suffering, of probable deviance, of permanent inferiority.” The predictions were accompanied by graphic depictions of infants going through withdrawal, and condemnation of their mothers for “choosing” addiction over their children.None of the dire predictions came true. And […]

There are 10,000 kids in foster care in Maricopa County alone

You don’t need to be a foster parent and take a child in 24/7, or adopt a child in foster care to make a difference. You can mentor them for as little as eight hours a month, and make a difference as well.”Our mentor program matches volunteers from in the community with school-aged children in foster care,” […]

Darcy Olsen: Don’t let vulnerable children linger in foster care  

As a foster parent for seven years, I’ve cradled the opioid crisis in my arms.With parents unwilling or unable to get clean, 50,000 newborns will enter state foster care systems this year. What happens next is Russian roulette.Consider Mary, born in a Greyhound bus station bathroom. She tested positive for meth, heroin and alcohol. Nurses […]