AZAFAP Events & Activities
Each Spring and Fall, about 500 members get together in a park and enjoy food, activities, prizes and entertainment set up by the pledge class of ASU’s fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. This special event gives children time to play and parents time to engage with one another. A drive-through trunk or treat was designed this year due to the 2020 pandemic. AZAFAP also provided a virtual picnic for all families to pick up a meal one weekend and then join each other online.
One of our most popular events, so much so that we have moved from planning 1 camp per year to 3 camps per year! Families enjoy 2 days and 2 nights in the cooler weather of Prescott, Williams, or Mayer, Arizona.
Arizona is hot! What better way to connect with others during those summer months than to go to a nearby resort and have a “staycation”! Children have all day to play with other children at the waterpark, and parents have all day to relax with other parents and connect in a beautiful atmosphere.
Parents Night Out
Parents Night Out events provide a safe space for parents to leave their children for a few hours so they can go and take a break. That break may look like doing the necessary shopping, going to a movie, chatting and sharaing with other parents, or eating a quiet dinner without interruptions. Parents always come back with a smile on their face, ready for another day with their children!
Water Safety and Swim
Water safety learning and family fun are lined up for this swim event! Each child received a new swimming suit and a towel for their safe, swimming fun! Food and drink were provided for a break from the wave pool, but this even allows families to connect through an everyday, fun activity that occurs in Arizona.
Family Golf Games
There is plenty of golf, laughing, and eating during this connections event. Many children from foster care have never experienced a golf club in their hand. While team sports are great, this introduction to golf clubs may spark an interest and result in a child becoming involved in a sport where you compete against yourself, not others. An important bonding time between parents and their kids occurs at this event, and families meet other families with similar interests.
Family Support Services
Foster parents who are continuing their license are required to earn a specific number of hours per year of training in order to renew. Topics related to the care of children who come from state custody are pertinent to healthy parent-child and family relationships. Strategies that can be utilized right away are emphasized in these courses. Currently courses are provided in an online format.
Support Network and Chat
It is important for parents to have a safe environment to share with one another the successes and challenges that they face in their home when parenting children from foster care. Parent facilitators are utilized to suggest a topic from a video created for AZAFAP as an introduction to the topic, or to engage in a needed conversation between the members of the group. A weekly chat is hosted currently online so parents can connect after kids are in bed and be with other adults!
Spring Blitz Training Day
With a requirement of at least 6 hours of training annually for foster parents, this “blitz” day offers parents a full day of training relevant to parenting children with special needs including children from the foster care system with a history of trauma.
Children’s Basic Needs
Christmas in July
This event is held each summer and has visited a variety of venues from the Children’s Museum to a sports arena to a resort. Each child, whether they are a foster child, a kinship placement, an adopted child, or a biological child, receives a present that is appropriate to their age and developmental level. It is imperative that families have supports in providing these special things to the children who are currently in their family.
For decades back to school shopping has been a tradition in most homes. Getting those brand new outfits is exciting and important to the self-esteem of youth. This event provides each child in the family with a brand new pair of shoes that they pick out at the shoe store! Families arrive at scheduled times and shop until everyone finds that perfect pair of shoes.
Even in Arizona, the temperatures can get pretty cold in the winter. It is a basic need for children to have a warm jacket to wear in these colder months or when they go up to our family camp events. This event allows for every child in the family to have a brand new jacket or sweatshirt of their very own.
Recycle Your Bicycle and Toys
This event involves the community giving back. Typically, aside from 2020, partner businesses and volunteers collect used bicycles from the community. These bicycles are then gathered at a workshop site where hundreds of volunteers pour their time and energy to revitalize the bikes for children from foster care. A big pick up event is held on a weekend in December where parents are able to pick up the bikes that they have requested.
Community Awareness and Celebration
Blue Ribbon Awareness
May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Awareness is key for the community as those who do not interact typically with foster care may not understand the large numbers of children who have been impacted. This event brings awareness through signs, ribbons, bracelets, or any other creative way to illustrate the needs of children and the need for foster families.
Adoption in the Park
Held in Tucson, AZ, this event celebrates adoptions that are occurring during National Adoption Day. Families are able to gather to celebrate their family officially growing with others in the community for a special day!