Catholic Charities Foster Care Program
The program holds monthly foster care and adoption information sessions.
INFO: Sally Gramke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 943-3843
In 2005, Mimi Condon saw an ad in The Catholic Sun recruiting foster parents.
“I heard there were more than 10,000 children that needed a home,” Condon said. “We (she and husband, Tom) talked to our daughters. They were old enough that they would be very much involved.”
Their daughters, pre-teens then, were “on board.” As a Catholic working in a Catholic school at the time, Condon felt the organization was a good fit. The couple began a background check, took classes and within a year, were fostering their first children.
“I felt comfortable with Catholic Charities,” Condon said.
“They were fantastic,” she added.
Condon said the family was assigned a licensing agent, Alaenya Bailey, who helped her through every step while her family was fostering.
“She was my support,” Condon said. “I went through a lot of difficult times in our journey and she was always there for me.”
After fostering about 15 children and adopting four of their foster children, the family is now closing their license, but Condon still serves as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).
In the 13 years since the Condons began fostering children, the number of children in Arizona in foster care has risen to 18,000. The need is great and Condon encourages families to consider serving as a foster family.
“If you already have children, the greatest gift to being a foster parent is not only giving unconditional love to the child, but also the growth your own children will gain,” Condon said.
Charity and Development Appeal (CDA)
The Charity and Development Appeal supports more than 70 educational, charitable and spiritual organizations which counsel, feed clothe, house, educate and comfort those in need throughout the four counties in the Diocese of Phoenix.
Foster care support is one of many Catholic Charities programs that benefit from the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA). With CDA support, Catholic Charities is also able to help refugees resettle through its Refugee Resettlement program.
“John” Amanzai, his wife, and their six children arrived in the U.S. from Afghanistan last May. In eight months, Amanzai is employed, his family has moved into their own housing, his children are already speaking English, and they have found a community of friends they meet with regularly.
“You have to push yourself to accomplish what you need to accomplish,” Amanzai said.
He said he is grateful for the help of Catholic Charities, which guided the family through their first three months in the U.S. He plans to go to college, and one of his goals is to help his children succeed in their new country.
“The biggest hope for me is the education so they can plan for their own lives,” Amanzai said.
The Catholic Charities refugee program began in 1975 to help Vietnamese refugee families fleeing their country. There are now more than 62,000 refugees in Arizona who have had to leave their country to escape violence.
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program
The program needs help to employ newly arrived people, administrative help and help with household supplies and goods.
INFO: Daniel Kelly at email@example.com or (602) 749-4445
The Catholic Charities program helps welcome them to the U.S., find initial housing, receive social orientation, find jobs and enroll family members in healthcare programs, English classes and children in schools.
“Everything we do is focused on the goal to get them economically and socially independent as soon as possible after arrival in the United States,” said Joanne Morales, director of refugee resettlement for Catholic Charities.
“At Catholic Charities, we are following the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching, (especially) the Gospel of Matthew of welcoming the stranger,” Morales said.
“The mission of our agency is helping our community’s most vulnerable, and they are some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”
Tamara Bohannon, vice president of philanthropy for Catholic Charities, said they could not provide “holistic support without private funding.”
“The common thread of all our programs is that we meet people in crisis, get them to stability and help them thrive,” she said. “Our vision is that we are able to continue to provide services to give youth a future, provide shelter and strengthen families — and add much-needed preventive services so the number of people we see in crisis diminishes.”