Aid to Adoption of Special Kids AASK

Thunderbirds Charities Grant Supports Kinship Foster Families

Thunderbird Charities has recently awarded $25,000 to Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) to improve outcomes for foster children who have been removed from their home and placed with a kinship caregiver.

More than 5,500 of the nearly 14,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system are placed with relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings. These kinship foster families take immediate placement of children, but don’t get full state support until they become licensed foster parents – a process that can take six months or longer.

The goal of the AASK Kinship Care Program is to support kinship foster families as they care for the children of relatives, with a special focus on the first six months of care as the entire family responds to the crisis of children being brought into foster care.

This grant makes it possible for AASK to provide support to families before they become licensed. AASK has a unit dedicated to the unique needs of kinship foster families. Each family is assigned a family support specialist who serves as a guide for dealing with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, the courts, the schools and other organizations involved in the life of a child in foster care. The family support specialist also helps kinship foster families connect to a variety of free or low-cost child and family resources.  The state DCS does not cover agency services to unlicensed families.

“Because of the generosity of Thunderbirds Charities, AASK is able to help kinship foster parents when a child first comes into their home, the time when they need help most,” said Ron Adelson, CEO of AASK.

Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support AASK’s mission to ensure every child in foster care in Arizona has someone who cares deeply about them.


This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.