A non-profit organization to help Armenian foster kids
Since 2012, the Armenian nonprofit organization Datev has been focusing on helping families affected by domestic violence. Working with partners and other nonprofit organizations, they provide a trusted space for women to go. As well as, rehabilitation for parents, and family counseling. Only recently, they added another piece to the puzzle. They are finding homes for Armenian foster kids.
“There are Armenian children in foster care. When the family is broken up, they end up in the system,” said Ani Torosyan, Chairman of the Board at Datev. “We’re helping Armenian foster kids get placed in Armenian homes, where they are familiar, culturally.”
Datev means “To Give Wings”
Datev staff members found themselves learning a lot about our country’s foster care system, working with social workers and potential foster families. Without long term funding and grants currently, Datev can’t launch big campaigns and PR efforts. Instead they are focusing on grass roots marketing, getting the word out at farmers markets and at events within the Armenian community. Their difficulty has been finding willing foster parents who won’t get turned off by the process of becoming fosters. Not everyone is ready to become a foster parent, but everyone who can, can offer support.
“There are 100 Armenian foster kids in Los Angeles,” Torosyan said. “When we tell them, they are in disbelief.”
Datev is working on 5 to 7 cases for kids in foster care currently. In November 2013, they will be closing their first foster care case for a thirteen-year-old girl who has been in foster care for seven years. She will be moving in with her new legal guardian before the end of the year.
“Both her parents were heavy drug users. Her mom suffered a critical stroke and has been in hospice care ever since,” Torosyan said. “There were four children, and all of them were adopted or taken into custody. The last person she had on this earth, her older sister, is in now in jail. She has no one.”
“In cases of domestic violence, we have to triage the entire situation. Our followers believe that the family needs to be looked at as a whole,” Torosyan said. “We help anyone in the community, and we do all we can to get the word out.”
Visit Datev for more information on how you can help Armenian foster kids find families, or get information on how to become a foster parent.