TUCSON (Thursday, December 3, 2015) - The Department of Child Safety today launched the CarePortal from the First Assembly of God Church in Tucson.
The CarePortal will help DCS staff link multiple churches to needy children and families involved in the child welfare system. Often, families caring for children in foster care are presented with a variety of challenges that could place a stable home in jeopardy. Without help, this could result in a child being displaced unnecessarily.
Now, DCS staff will formally request assistance for a child or family in need. The CarePortal will electronically distribute the request to multiple churches engaged in Pima County. When a church offers the remedy, they are immediately connected back to DCS where together, they deliver the solution.
"This type of connection between faith based organizations and government is vital to restoring balance between protection and charity," said DCS Director Greg McKay. "As the good book says, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken; DCS, The Church, and the CarePortal just formed three strands." McKay added.
With the foster care system so overwhelmed, DCS cannot afford to lose loving kinship and licensed foster families due to avoidable hardships. The CarePortal brings immediate relief and provides a way for people to help in many capacities.
"Arizona citizens are ready and willing to answer the call to help these children," said McKay. "Too often however, their desire to serve and provide for someone in need is stymied by lengthy bureaucratic processes."
DCS staff in Pima County feel the intense need to help children and families but desperately need help. Program Manager Pauline Machiche and her team created a YouTube video in the spring called "DCS-Church Partnership." That partnership spurred a larger expansion to include The CarePortal.
Today's event concluded when DCS provided the CarePortal the first request for assistance and the churches were ready. Billy Thrall from the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family was in attendance and answered McKay's request to bring the CarePortal to the rest of the state.
"Billy is a tremendous man of faith with decades of experience and connections with church leaders in Arizona," said McKay. "Who better to spread the word; I'm grateful for him."
As for Pima County's DCS staff, McKay concluded, "they possess the hearts and minds to spark real change that truly helps all people. I couldn't be more proud of their innovation."