PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A loving and stable home is something many of us may take for granted. But for thousands of foster children in Arizona, it is a dream they think about daily. Arizona's Family is doing our part to connect families to foster children in a new segment called Finding Forever.

We will introduce you to children looking for a loving home and help you learn more about the great need in our state. There are nearly 20,000 foster children in this state and only about four thousand foster homes, according to the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

CJ is one of those kids looking for a forever family. He is like a lot of 11 year olds, a little shy when you first meet him. It did not take long to get him chatting though, especially with his curiosity as he got a personal tour of the Storm Commander at a local park.

CJ is a smart kid. We quickly noticed how aware he was as we walked around, with him pointing out different types of animals and birds.

“You rarely see those anymore,” he said pointing to a thin white bird. His love for animals is apparent, and it sounds like it could also be a future career. “I want to be a paleontologist,” CJ said.

Right now he lives in a group home. He told Arizona Family's Ian Schwartz he would love a family that likes the outdoors.

Constintine

Constintine, who goes by CJ, is a friendly and talkative young man who loves animals – especially kittens. He excels at math, loves riding his bike, and enjoys playing Minecraft. CJ’s favorite meal is chicken and mashed potatoes – and he’ll never say no to mint chocolate chip ice cream. Get to know CJ and other adoptable children at the childrensheartgallery.org.

Cathleen Brock is with C.A.S.A, a non-profit that advocates for children in foster care. She says CJ would do great in a two parents household, but could also adapt to a single parent home. Brock thinks this curious kid would do well with a couple of older siblings. She is taken back by how generous and caring he is at such a young age. “He often shows sympathy toward people he sees that are homeless or something like that,” she said. “That generous empathetic attitude is a positive on CJ’s part.’

Ian Schwartz learned this after CJ told him a story about how he selflessly donated a pair of roller-skates to another boy. “This lady had a son and a daughter but only her daughter had roller skates, so I gave her son roller skates,” CJ said.

CJ has a ton of potential, and Brock said she knows there is an Arizona family out there with the ability to unlock it with three simple things. “Number one, connections and consistency, security, like a lot of us, all of us (need),” Brock said.

To find out how you might become a forever family for CJ or other Arizona waiting children, contact AASK at 602-930-4466 or by info@aask-az.org. You can also visit the Children's Heart Gallery.

An Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, meteorologist Ian Schwartz brings you the forecast weekday mornings on CBS 5 This Morning.
 
 

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you