Essential Needs

Resources for Court Appointed Special Advocates

Voices for CASA Children is dedicated to supporting CASA volunteers and providing a brighter future for the children they serve. Now, thanks to a generous grant from Season for Sharing, VOICES can provide immediate assistance when an advocate reports an urgent, unmet need on behalf of his or her CASA child.

Most needs, however, can be addressed within five to seven days by one of the many organizations working on behalf of foster children in Maricopa County. Please contact them directly if time allows. To better assist you, we’ve provided a brief description below of the organizations CASA volunteers turn to most frequently for assistance and a link for each. Please be sure to tell them VOICES referred you!

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Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation promotes the self-esteem and enriches the lives of children in foster care in Arizona by funding social, athletic and educational activities and other items that provide them with quality experiences while they live through very difficult circumstances. Some examples include apartment set-up, bicycles, camps, lessons, prom expenses and tutoring services.

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Arizona Helping Hands helps foster families provide a safe, loving environment for children in the Department of Child Safety system. Their programs can provide many basic needs for CASA boys and girls, including toys, toiletries, diapers, cribs/twin beds, and backpacks and school supplies.  To place an In Need request with Arizona Helping Hands, click here. They can even provide a personalized birthday package of toys and gifts to celebrate a child’s birthday; just complete a request
4 – 6 weeks before the birthday.

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Helen’s Hope Chest provides foster youth in Arizona with quality clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, books, gifts and more at no cost to their foster parents. The boutique-like environment encourages children and teens to make their own clothing and accessory selections. For more information or to schedule an appointment for your CASA child, please call 480-969-5411.

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Southwest Human Development can provide support for CASA children through numerous programs, primarily supporting children birth to five years of age. Their child welfare programs and assistive technology programs serve children up through 18 years of age.

CASA volunteers can also access phone support with early childhood specialists and area resources through the Birth to Five Helpline at (877) 705-5437, M – F, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Introducing VOICES’ Essential Needs Program

 

Not every child can wait five to seven days for a request to be approved depending on his or her circumstances. With our Essential Needs Program, a CASA volunteer can submit an online request using the form below and hear back from someone at VOICES within 24 hours.

Once the application has been submitted, our Essential Needs Coordinator will review the request and contact the advocate by phone and email within 24 hours. The coordinator will confirm that the request has been received and clarify any unclear or missing details on the application. We’ll do our best to turn requests around within 48 hours.

Only requests placed by Maricopa County advocates on behalf of their court-appointed children residing in Arizona will be approved. To qualify as an essential need, the request must be for items, services or activities that enhance a CASA child’s well-being and/or self-confidence, and cannot be fulfilled by another agency within its normal time frame.

To contribute to VOICES’ Essential Needs Program, please visit our Donate page.


Program Guidelines

• Requests for an individual child will not be fulfilled for more than $250 every six months, except under special circumstances to be determined by the Review Committee.

• Requests must be made by a Maricopa County CASA volunteer. Requests from parents or guardian ad litems will not be considered.

• Advocates may only submit requests for their court-appointed child(ren) residing in Arizona. Requests for another child in the foster care system with whom the advocate interacts will not be approved at this time.*

• CASA volunteers must receive advance approval in writing from VOICES’ Essential Needs Coordinator in order to be reimbursed.


Need to Make a Request?

If you are an advocate and would like to report an essential need on behalf of your CASA child, please submit a request form.  (If you do not receive an immediate confirmation, please review your application to ensure all required fields were completed.)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VOICES’ Essential Needs Program is intended for use by CASA volunteers to meet the essential needs of their court appointed children residing in Arizona.

Who is eligible to submit a request through the Essential Needs Program?

Only current Court Appointed Special Advocates may submit an Essential Needs Request. These individuals must provide their CASA of Maricopa County email address to verify their role as a CASA volunteer.

How long will it take for my request to be approved?

You will receive a phone call within 24 hours of submitting your request through the VOICES website, verifying that your application has been received. Every effort will be made for the request to be approved or denied in under 48 hours.

Can I apply for more than one activity at a time?

No. VOICES will only consider one request per child at a time. If you are assigned to more than one child, you may have a pending application for each child at the same time.

Can I apply to be reimbursed for something I’ve already purchased?

No. We can only reimburse you if the purchase was pre-approved in writing by our Essential Needs Coordinator.

What do I need to do to be reimbursed?

Please submit a receipt for your previously-approved request to be reimbursed within 30 days. Our coordinator will provide additional details when your application is approved.

Will VOICES issue a check directly to me or to the vendor?

Whenever possible, VOICES will work to arrange payment with the vendor directly.

What is the process for submitting an application?

Once you’ve submitted your application online using our Essential Needs Request Form, you’ll be contacted within 24 hours by our Essential Needs Coordinator to verify that we have received your request and clarify any unclear or missing information. When the coordinator or Review Committee has made a decision about your request, you will be notified by the Essential Needs Coordinator, both by phone and email, to let you know if your request has been approved or denied.

If your request was approved, the coordinator will work with you to fulfill the request.

Please note: Voices for CASA Children must always receive an online Essential Needs application from a Maricopa County CASA volunteer on behalf of his/her assigned child before a request can be properly evaluated. VOICES cannot provide reimbursement for anything paid for prior to receiving approval from our Essential Needs Coordinator.