My name is Jennifer Barrie and I have had the privilege of being the Program Supervisor for the Arizona’s Children Association Child Specific Program for the past year. The Child Specific Recruitment Program is a program that helps youth in care find connections and permanency. In doing this there are different recruitment activities that can help to find these permanent connections, one being the Meet the Kids videos done by Foster Arizona.
The videos not only aid us in getting families for these youth they also help to make these kids feel super special. The activities that Foster Arizona organizes are sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime activity such as being able to play in a penguin exhibit, hold a sloth, or get free reign on a go-kart track. The team is so patient with the kids and with the Youth Advocates, as being on camera can bring on some anxiety for all involved. Kim and the camera crew truly make the day go as smooth as possible and are able to capture what makes these kids so amazing.
The work that goes into the videos is amazing and truly remarkable. From the Youth Advocates who speak on camera, to the camera crew who always finds the perfect shots, to Kim who is always able to ask the right questions and help to make the Youth Advocates and the youth feel comfortable, so much talent goes into making these beautiful videos. In addition, the stars of the videos are these youth that are open to sharing their hearts in hopes of finding someone that will listen to their words and give them a chance.
It is beautiful to see the anticipation and the excitement to see the finished video. That excitement is shared not only by the youth and by the staff in the videos but everyone on the youth’s team. The pride in the youth’s eyes when their video is shown at their CFT or with their foster parents is amazing to see.
When the video results in an inquiry that turns into a family member calling because they saw the video and are willing to help or an adoptive family that fell in love after watching the video for the 15th time or when a child who felt alone in the world is able to feel the love of a family for maybe the very first time, that is the real magic of these videos.
Program Supervisor for the Arizona’s Children Association Child Specific Program