Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Program that Connects Local Churches With Families in Need Expands to East Valley

October 19, 2018

GILBERT— When a family hits hard financial times, even the smallest needs can add up to the point where the state becomes involved.

But the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) wants to take every step to keep children in safe, loving homes.

That’s why DCS and the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF) continue to expand an innovative program designed to connect families in need with local churches who want to lend a hand.

”Strengthening families requires a community coming together,” said DCS Director Greg McKay. “CarePortal provides a pathway to link local churches and families in need, so neighbors can help neighbors. We’re excited that this program will now be available throughout Maricopa County.”

How it works

The program, called CarePortal, is a network that allows DCS workers to enter a family’s request online, such as home repairs or a bed for a child to sleep on.

Once the request is submitted, CarePortal alerts participating churches within a families’ zip code.

After a church receives the alert, it can identify parishioners willing to assist families in their community.

Helping Arizona families

Since their Pima County launch in December 2015, CarePortal has recruited 72 churches that have combined to help meet the needs of 2,142 Arizona children.

CarePortal expanded to the West Valley in Maricopa County in February 2017.

Now, CarePortal will offer its services in the East Valley.

“Arizona’s children deserve intact, loving families,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “It is our hope that every church will do a little to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and families.”

The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family formed this partnership with DCS and CarePortal to help the program expand.

“Community-based programs, such as the CarePortal, help strengthen the ability of communities to support families in need,” said Maria Fuentes, newly appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family.

On October 18, 2017, DCS Director Greg McKay and Deputy Director Shalom Jacobs joined CarePortal officials and representatives from local churches in a special event to announce the program’s expansion to the East Valley.

With the East Valley launch complete, CarePortal now covers all of Maricopa County.