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Non-Profit Spotlight: Casa de los Niños

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"Casa de los Niños" translates to "home for the children."

In the early 1970's, Sister Kathleen Clark was a nurse in the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital. Appalled at the victims of child abuse that she saw in her work, she resolved to open a safe haven for neglected and abused infants and toddlers. Through her determination and perseverance she founded and became the Executive Director of Casa de los Niños (one of the first crisis nurseries in the United States), where she served from 1973 until 1987. After her retirement, she continued to work at the home until she moved to Los Angeles in 1997.

The mission has stayed the same ever since: "Casa de los Niños promotes child well-being and family stability in our community."

With the support of community leaders, volunteers, and donors, Casa de los Niños seeks to build a society in which no child experiences the misery of abuse and neglect.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Where is Casa de los Niños located?

The administrative offices are at 1120 N. 5th Avenue in Central Tucson. Other locations provide behavior health services, family visitation services, and foster care information/trainings.

VOLUNTEERING AT CASA DE LOS NINOS

What volunteer opportunities are available?

  • Administration Assistant: Data entry, filing, photo copying, mailing & telephoning.
  • Angel Reception: Screening visitors, volunteers, workers, etc.; taking phone messages; copying & filing.
  • Building Maintenance, Landscaping, & Labor: Minor carpentry, plumbing, stocking merchandise, moving boxes, light grounds keeping, and general maintenance.
  • Healthcare: Assist with medical clinics, child grooming, stocking medical supplies, etc.
  • Social Work Intern: Accept and carry out a variety of social work tasks, such as monitoring parent visitations, and other projects as assigned by the Casa de los Niños Social Worker.
  • Special Events: Help with concession stands, ticket sales, merchandise sales, gate keeping, etc.
  • Special Projects: Sewing, woodwork, creating displays, etc
  • Thrift Store: Sales floor assistant, donation sorter, driver’s helper, librarian, laundry aide, and warehouse assistant. All proceeds of the thrift store support shelter operations and services.

What are the training requirements?

To begin the process, you can fill out the Volunteer Interest Form online or pick up a Volunteer Application Packet at 1120 N. 5th Avenue.

The application process includes a general application, questionnaire, notarized criminal history affidavit, confidentiality statement, volunteer commitment statement, 3 personal reference forms, parental consent form (if under 18), in-person interview, drug screening, medical screening, and fingerprint background clearance.

Every volunteer must then attend a 4-day New Volunteer Orientation (4 hours each day, Mon-Thurs).

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of six months.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

Volunteers must be age 16 and up. That said, younger kids can certainly participate by organizing and/or contributing to a collection drive.

BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT

What does a foster parent do?

Foster parents provide a stable, loving home to children who have experienced trauma and support the child's biological family to help them heal and grow.

How do I become a foster parent?

Basic requirements include:

  • Applicants must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Pass a criminal history background check
  • Earn sufficient income to meet your family's needs
  • Pass a home inspection
  • Complete 30 hours of pre-service training

If you think foster care may be a good fit for your family, call Casa de los Niños at 520-624-5600 for more information.

CASA DE LOS NINOS THRIFT STORE

Where is the Casa de los Niños Thrift Store located?

The thrift store is located in north-central Tucson at 1302 E. Prince Road.

What are the hours?

Monday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm; Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm.

Can I donate directly to the thrift store?

Yes. Donations may be brought to the Thrift Store (located at the southeast corner of Prince Rd and Ft. Lowell Rd) during normal business hours. For larger items, such as furniture or appliances, please call the Thrift Store at 520-325-2573 to ask about pick-up.

FREE PARENTING CLASSES

Who can attend parenting classes at Casa de los Niños?

Parenting classes are free and open to the public.

What classes are available?

Check the website for a full schedule. Upcoming classes include Toddler/Preschool Development, Discipline Techniques, Preparing Your Child for Reading, Parenting to Prevent Bullying, Active Parenting of Teens, and Internet Safety for Parents.

CONNECT WITH CASA DE LOS NINOS

Is Casa de los Niños on Facebook and Twitter?

Casa de los Niños has a Facebook page, but is not active on other social media accounts.

You can also sign up to receive updates about events, volunteer opportunities, and pressing needs.

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