Aid to Adoption of Special Kids is all about creating and keeping families together by supporting kinship adoptions.
Kinship foster families adopt children that are related to them, whether it be a grandchild, niece, nephew or even a child they may have coached or taught. Many of these foster families struggle to have all the resources they need when their family expands.
Since 1988, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids has assisted these families as they navigate foster care licensing, home study and training programs. The process takes approximately four to six months to complete with the support of staff.
The group received a $20,000 grant from the Arizona Republic-sponsored Season for Sharing campaign last year. In all, $2.1 million was shared by 176 nonprofits that help children and families, older adults, and teachers and students.
“Season for Sharing means more children in foster care are placed with loving families… By staying with relatives and adults they are already familiar and comfortable with, children in foster care can begin processing and healing from their trauma sooner,” said AASK's Josie Gaieck.
What services does AASK provide? Throughout the entire process of licensure and placement, our team is there to offer training, answer questions and provide community resources to help the parents and the child.
How do you gauge success? A variety of ways, including an increase in the number of children and families we serve year over year; the ability to provide more resources for kinship families; as well as an increase of personal contact which includes phone calls, video calls and in-person visits between the family and our team assigned to their case.
What are your greatest needs? We are continually searching for families to care for children in foster care. There are more children in foster care than there are available foster families. Many children are living without a family and live in group homes and sleep in placement centers. These children don’t have families to build relationships with and help guide them as they get through school, gain peers and make goals for their future. Children in foster care often face many difficulties trying to navigate their own lives.
Share a story? In December 2020, a family had to take in four grandchildren under the age of three, but needed assistance. The family reached out to AASK and was paired up with a family specialist who could help them navigate the foster care system.
When it became clear that the children would not be reunited with their biological parents, the grandparents officially adopted their grandchildren, ensuring the family and siblings would be together.
Republic reporter Roxanne De La Rosa writes about Arizona's nonprofit community. Reach her at email@example.com.
Ways to give to Season for Sharing
Fill out the secure, online form at sharing.azcentral.com.
Text “SHARING” to 91-999 and click on the link in the text message.
Go online at facebook.com/seasonforsharing and look for the “DONATE HERE” post.
Clip the coupon on Page 4A of The Arizona Republic, fill it out and mail it to P.O. Box 29250, Phoenix AZ 85038-9250.
Scan the QR code with your smartphone.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Season for Sharing grant helps group place foster children with relatives