CarePortal, an initiative of The Global Orphan Project, is now partnering with Arizona Helping Hands to meet basic needs of children in Maricopa County. Together, the two organizations will support children in foster or kinship care placements, while also helping other children remain with their biological families. Their strategy: provide these children with a safe place to sleep.
Arizona Helping Hands is dedicated to serving the approximately 17,000 kids connected to the Arizona child welfare system. Providing beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, back-to-school items, birthday gifts and other items, they work to make life more comfortable for children in the wake of trauma.
“This new partnership with CarePortal is an opportunity to expand our services to help families who are on the fringe of the foster care system. It’s our hope that by lending our helping hands, we can give a hand up to moms and dads and help keep additional children out of Arizona’s foster system,” said Dan Shufelt, president and CEO of Arizona Helping Hands.
CarePortal is an expanding national initiative that uses technology to connect children impacted by the child welfare system with local churches who want to help. Since CarePortal’s Arizona launch in December 2015, an increasing number of Maricopa County churches have enrolled to respond to the real-time needs of children and families in their own neighborhoods. Nationally, more than 14,000 children have been served in 13 states since CarePortal originated in March 2015.
The partnership ignited as a response to the high volume of twin beds requested by The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) through CarePortal. Arizona Helping Hands and CarePortal will now work together to fulfill those requests.
DCS continues to be the primary referring agency partnering with CarePortal state-wide. However, this collaboration with Arizona Helping Hands marks the first non-government referring agency able to submit requests for families through CarePortal. Arizona Helping Hands will provide 3,000 beds and cribs to children in 2017 and has offered to assist CarePortal in fulfilling bed-related requests from families in the months to come.
Jenica McMaster, CarePortal Regional Manager, said, “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Arizona Helping Hands and other incredible agencies in Maricopa County who share the same heart for vulnerable children in our community. CarePortal exists to support local churches, and through this technology, it has never been easier for the Church to respond to needs of families in their area.”
More information about how to donate and serve through Arizona Helping Hands in available at azhelpinghands.org. Churches interested in joining the CarePortal community in serving Arizona’s vulnerable children can start that process at careportal.org/enroll.