Phoenix, AZ (Thursday, May 14, 2015) – Working at an unprecedented pace, the Department of Child Safety, Childhelp and the City of Phoenix have reached an agreement to refurbish space in Phoenix to temporarily house children aged 10 and under that have been removed from unsafe homes.
The agreement was reached between the three parties within 11 days and received Phoenix City Council approval Wednesday. The new space will be ready for occupancy by June 1st.
“I’m proud that DCS, Childhelp and the City of Phoenix were able to do this within such a short period of time,” said DCS Director Greg McKay. “To accomplish this vital task in fewer than two weeks is nothing short of miraculous. We have already begun outfitting the space so that children who have been removed from unsafe environments will have a safe, child friendly place to rest before being placed in foster care.”
He added, “The need for this facility is acute. It’s tragic that some children must be temporarily housed in offices while they await placement in foster care. This adds to their trauma. When DCS is compelled to remove children from their homes, it is our responsibility to provide a safer environment than the one they come from. This center will help us accomplish that goal and have these children placed within 24 hours.
While this facility meets a short-term need, DCS is aggressively pursuing a long-term emergency intake solution for children of all ages. I thank Childhelp, The City of Phoenix, and the many volunteers for stepping up to address this crucial problem.”
“The mission of the Arizona State Board of Childhelp is to unite our efforts through public-private sector partnerships with a goal of keeping our children safe,” said Childhelp Co-Founder and CEO, Sara O’Meara. “We are eager to create this opportunity to join hands in that effort with DCS and the City of Phoenix to answer this emergency call for children in our State’s foster care system,” added Childhelp Co-Founder and President, Yvonne Fedderson.
DCS staff will be on-site to expedite the children’s proper placement and Childhelp volunteers will assist in attending to the basic needs of the children including preparing the space for the children, and recruiting community support.
Please direct any donation questions and efforts to Childhelp at (480) 922-8212.