DISCLAIMER: *The children portrayed in these images are models and their stories are fictional. However, the tragic events in these stories continue to happen every day in the lives of Arizona’s foster children.
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|My name is Abby. I've been abused.
Abby is a 5-year-old in Kindergarten who loves spaghetti, playing with dolls and playing hide-and-seek. Abby was living with her stepmom and biological father when Child Protective Services had to remove her from her home due to abuse and neglect. When Abby was just a baby, her mother died, resulting in her alcohol-dependent father becoming her primary caretaker. Because of his addiction, Abby’s father can rarely hold a steady job. He is prone to yelling and cursing at his family, and on multiple occasions, he has kicked Abby and punched her stepmother. Abby’s stepmother tries to protect the child from her father’s violence, but must work double shifts to provide for the family. When Abby’s stepmother is not home, Abby’s father frequently consumes large quantities of alcohol, leaving him passed out and unable to care for his daughter. Abby often has no clean clothes to wear to school, and some nights she goes to bed without having eaten any dinner. Authorities became aware of Abby’s abuse and neglect after her teacher noticed a bruise near Abby’s eye and reported it. Will you advocate for a child like Abby?
|My name is Gabriel. I've been abused.
Gabriel is a 10-year-old who likes playing sports and collecting rocks. Gabriel was living with his mother when Child Protective Services had to remove his little sister and him from their home due to severe neglect. Gabriel’s father has been in prison since before he was born, so he has always lived with his mother. When Gabriel was a toddler, his mother began using meth and quickly developed an addiction. To feed her addiction, Gabriel’s mom would often leave during the night to steal from people or obtain drugs. Her hours away from the home eventually turned into days, and then weeks, without coming home. Sometimes the children would be left in the home with complete strangers and other times they would have no adult caretaker at all. One afternoon, a neighbor reported seeing a little boy pulling items out of the apartment complex dumpster and quickly notified authorities. When Child Protective Services investigators arrived to the home, they found garbage piles, drug paraphernalia and Gabriel’s little sister crawling around in a soiled diaper. The children were quickly removed from the home and are currently residing in foster care. Will you advocate for a child like Gabriel?
|My name is Aisha. I've been abused.
Aisha is a 12-year-old who likes art and fashion. Aisha and her older sister and younger brother were living with their aunt when Child Protective Services had to remove the children from their home. Aisha and her siblings have suffered severe trauma throughout their lives, which was first caused by years of living in an environment with ongoing domestic violence. Aisha and her siblings frequently witnessed their father hurting their mother and were ultimately removed from the home after their father shot and killed their mother. Following their mother’s murder, the children were placed with their aunt, who provided them a safe and loving home where they have spent the past two years trying to recover from their trauma. Things were looking up for the Aisha and her siblings, until recently when their aunt passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. With no other family members able to care for the children, the children were placed in a group home and will likely have to live in foster homes far from one another. Will you advocate for a child like Aisha?
|My name is James. I've been abused.
James is an 8-year-old who likes animals and anything having to do with science. James was born legally deaf and also suffers from a mild form of autism. Because of his disabilities and trauma he has experienced throughout his childhood, James is developmentally behind and struggles to communicate his needs. Child Protective Services removed James from his mother’s home when he was 5-years-old due to abuse and neglect. Because James’ mother was addicted to heroin, she was not able to provide him with the medical and developmental care needed to help him thrive. As a result of this, James was not able to speak until recently and has struggled in school, even though he is very bright. While James’ mother was using heroin, she would often lock him inside his bedroom for days at a time. James’ grandmother reported the suspected abuse and neglect. She is now caring for the little boy full-time, although she is in poor health and has trouble providing him adequate care. Will you advocate for a child like James?