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Giving Back to Arizona's Foster children


Tara Alatorre
During the holiday season many people are looking for ways to give back to the community, whether it is giving to a food drive, gifting toys to less fortunate children, or donating your time to an organization, there are many ways to spread cheer.
If you are someone looking to make a positive change in your community this holiday season, consider helping the nearly 17,000 foster care children that reside in the care of Arizona Department of Child Safety. According to DCS, about 33 percent of children in foster care have been in custody for an average of 13 to 24 months, and most of those children are one to five-years-old.
 All Arizona residents have an opportunity to play a role in enhancing the lives of foster care children, and DCS recommends these ten ways people can help in many different capacities; not just for the holidays but throughout the year:
Donate a material good. Foster care families are often in need of bedding, clothes and cribs.  You can donate items directly to a DCS partner agency, for more information on how to donate email a DCS community liaison at

Make a charitable contribution that provides services to DCS by taking advantage of the foster care tax credit. Individual tax filers can qualify for a $500 tax credit, and married couples may qualify for up to $1,000 tax credit.

Mentor a child in foster care by becoming a community liaison, it can have a lifelong impact on a young person.  If you are interested in becoming a community liaison email DCS at

Volunteer to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). You can become appointed by a judge to advocate for abused and neglected children in court, learn more about becoming a CASA on the website at,

Register your church with CarePortal, which connects local churches with families in crisis.  For more information on how to register with CarePortal email

If you own a business, consider holding an event for foster families to enjoy.  Email the DCS Community Liaison at for more information.

Launch a fundraiser for foster children and get the community involved to help with school supplies, scholarships, or toys for the holidays, contact for more information.

Give directly to any foster care group by donating to one of DCS’s partner foster care organizations.  To learn how email

Consider becoming a respite care provider.  A licesnsed respite care provider offer short-term childcare solutions for foster parents, if you are unable to become a foster parent but still would like to help, email for more information.

Become a foster parent.  Find out more information by visiting,