Arizona’s Children Association is hoping to create memories for children in care | Families
Children who are placed in foster care are often uprooted from their homes leaving their family with just the clothes on their backs. They leave all that they have known with only a few, if any, personal keepsakes. Many will go on to live in numerous and temporary foster homes while sharing many life experiences and passing through developmental milestones along the way.
Without record of these events, much of a child’s life might be forever missing and left behind with a previous placement. Documenting the time spent in care can go a long way in helping the children who have already lost so much. Pictures are used to create histories and document those memories and experiences throughout childhood. Most parents take photo after photo of their children with every milestone or achievement. Yet, children in foster care don’t always have someone to do this for them.
Andrea Fries, a program director for Arizona’s Children Association foster care and adoption program, is also a kinship adoptive parent and foster mom. “Having a record of their early lives is important to most kids. My three kids who are adopted, and who are fortunate enough to still see all of their family, love to go back through photos of things we have done,” said Andrea. “They are always curious about finding pictures from their past because most of their baby pictures have been lost or are only at their grandmother’s.”
Lifebooks are scrapbooks that are created by the parents of foster and adoptive children to use as a personal album of memories. These books are a collection of the child’s words, photos, artwork and other mementos that showcase the child’s growth and early life experiences. Lifebooks also serve as a way to build a connection between the child and their foster or adoptive family.
“These Lifebooks represent a youth’s identity,” said Michael Wydra, program director. “They help them understand their life events, grow, and develop into stronger individuals.”
Arizona’s Children Association is collecting blank, 12” by 12” scrapbook albums and new, or slightly used, digital cameras to provide for the families of children in care. May is National Foster Care month and we are counting on our community to help us provide a heritage for Arizona’s children. Through May 31, AzCA will be collecting donations at many of our offices:
Donation Drop-Off Locations
711 E. Missouri, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85014
3618 E. Pima Street
Tucson, AZ 85716
520.318.4882 x 1565
3780 S. 4th Avenue Extension, Suite K
Yuma, AZ 85365
174 S. Coronado Drive, Suite B
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
440 N. Washington Avenue
Prescott, AZ 86301
906 W. University Avenue
Building B, Suite 150
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Lake Havasu City
228 London Bridge Road, Suite 202
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
For more information, contact Virginia Watahomigie at VWatahomigie@arizonaschildren.org or call 520.318.4882 x1565. Monetary and in-kind donations are encouraged throughout the year to support many of our programs statewide. Contact the office nearest you to learn more.
About Arizona’s Children Association
Arizona’s Children Association was originally founded in 1912 to care for homeless, neglected and dependent children. For 100 years the agency has stayed true to Protecting Children and Preserving Families, serving more than 42,000 children and their families in all 15 counties in the state each year. Members of Arizona’s Children Association Family of Agencies include Child Haven, Golden Gate Community Center, In My Shoes, Las Familias, New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development, The Parent Connection and Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. For more information, visit the Arizona’s Children website at www.arizonaschildren.org.