Corner Office: Reflections on the election results

Corner Office: Reflections on the election results

When you work for, or support, an organization life Child & Family Resources, that exists for the mission of building communities where children can reach their full potential, then you are obligated to keep going, to keep fighting for justice, fairness, and a level playing field for all children, not just those from wealthy backgrounds.

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Corner Office: Healthy Families Celebrates 25 Years

 (L to R): Kate Whitaker, National Healthy Family America; Pauline Pauline Haas-Vaughn, Child & Family Resources Statewide Program Director for Healthy Families; and Esthela Navarro, Great Kids, Inc. 

(L to R): Kate Whitaker, National Healthy Family America; Pauline Pauline Haas-Vaughn, Child & Family Resources Statewide Program Director for Healthy Families; and Esthela Navarro, Great Kids, Inc. 

25 years ago, Arizona became a pioneer, and for once, led the nation in doing something innovative! We became one of the first states on the mainland to implement Healthy Families, a now proven, and then promising program that promotes healthy child development, and prevents child abuse and neglect.

Thanks to the leadership of advocates, including Child & Family Resources staff (then known as Tucson Association for Child Care), the first Healthy Families teams began in Tucson and Prescott. Recently, the several hundred Healthy Families coaches, supervisors, administrators along with state government officials, gathered in Phoenix to celebrate this silver anniversary.

The Healthy Families model is a type of home visitation service. In essence, trained coaches provide mentoring and support to interested young mothers and fathers, at no cost, and in the couple’s own home. These counselors visit periodically (more at first and then scale back as per need and parental request), and use an established research proven method to build trust and then help parents gain confidence and skills. For a fraction of the cost of foster care, or residential care – the frequent result of children being removed from their homes – we can prevent child maltreatment and promote children’s success.

Child & Family Resources is one of the two largest providers of Healthy Families in Arizona. Providing these kinds of cost effective interventions to parents of infants and young children is one of the smartest ways to ensure our mission of building strong communities where children can reach their full potential.

Employees from across the state gathered on Tuesday, September 27th to celebrate  of the work Arizona has done for children and families. Here's to many more years to come! 


Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: We’ll Never Achieve our Missions by Running Great Programs

Let’s be honest. A traditional agency model, based on providing top-notch services to a limited number of eligible clients isn’t sufficient to make a meaningful impact for most social problems.

Consider for example the fact that less than one in six children in our communities attend quality early childhood education. If we know that the best way to promote children’s potential is ensure that they enter school ready, then we have to make sure more children under five have access to quality preschool and early childhood education.

None of our current programming is geared towards this specific goal. Our services educate parents on the importance of quality early childhood education; we work with childcare professionals to become quality early childhood education – all necessary and powerful programs—but none of them specifically ensure all Arizona children access to education at a critical time in their development.

Getting to scale that large requires a more seismic shift at the policy and community-values level, not finding a few more dollars to increase slots at a few programs (no matter how well run, effective and appreciated they are).

As leaders and advocates for children and families, we need to redefine our roles to include political advocacy. As leaders, we must commit our time to meetings with city council members, mayors, campaign funders, community collaborators, and pollsters in order to affect changes in legislation, because meaningful change and achieving our goals will only happen when our elected leaders have children and family-centric priorities. 

Human-serving organizations like Child & Family Resources and their supporters need to become increasingly more involved in cause-driven political campaigns.

Please stay tuned in the upcoming election cycle for opportunities when you can also join in the effort by voting on legislation that will truly change the state of Arizona. 


Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: Mission Update. What does Child & Family Resources do?

What does Child & Family Resources do? A fair question any client or donor might ask. Well, there are a few ways we could talk about our work....

We could easily talk about the programming we provide to families. About how we work in-homes with caregivers to become the best parents they can be—empowering and educating caregivers to nurture positive growth in their own children. We are part of the foundation families build to become healthy and thriving.

Or, we could talk about the 2,200 trainings we offer statewide each year to childcare professionals, the people who play an integral role in the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of our children, which doesn’t even touch on the countless hours of technical assistance we provide to in-home providers and centers. We are part of the toolkit early childhood educators use to make a lasting positive impression on all aspects of a child’s development.

We could wrap up talking about our community-based programming working with teenagers in schools to become healthy teens who make safe choices about risky options like sex, drugs, and alcohol.  We are part of the reason a teen will make a choice today that helps them prepare for tomorrow. 

We do all of those great things, every day. We also do so much more than that.

Looking at the cumulative power of all of our programs, unifying each is a very fundamental mission:

 At Child & Family Resources we build strong communities where children can reach their full potential

At Child & Family Resources we build strong communities where children can reach their full potential

We do this by using effective prevention and education strategies with families, teens, and early educators

We are so proud to announce this as our new mission statement. Over the past several months, our Board of Directors, with input from many staff, took time to reflect on the true impact of our work. 

There are so many great programs at Child & Family Resources, we're very happy to have a short and wonderful answer. What does Child & Family Resources do? We build strong communities where children can reach their full potential. 


Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: Imagine a Future

We just wrapped up our 7th annual Champions for Children & Families fundraising luncheon. Many of you joined us to celebrate to support families and honor the champions in our community.

The theme of our event was Imagine a Future. We want to extend that some vision with you, right now. Let’s do that …

Imagine a future where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. At Child & Family Resources we use proven, cost effective strategies to increase the numbers of young children who have the skills to thrive. Professionals talk about the importance of Kindergarten readiness and the ability to read by third grade. If a child can’t read by third grade he or she is statistically far more likely to be a high school dropout, be on welfare as an adult, get arrested, get divorced, and develop problems with drugs or alcohol. Apparently some private prison companies use regional third grade reading scores to help determine where to build more prisons for future customers!

Imagine a future where all young children, especially those living in poverty, have a chance to attend a quality preschool. Today just one in six Pima County toddlers does so. At Child and Family Resources we partner with early childhood educators and preschools/child care centers to increase quality, provide needed support and incentives, and build a stronger early childhood education system. The sooner our society can learn that public investment in education and school needs to begin long before Kindergarten, the sooner we will catch up with the many countries of the world with education outcomes and success vastly better than ours. American society continues to promote this antiquated notion that school is meant to begin at age five. Compare us to the many European and Asian countries whose average high school test scores are significantly better than ours. They invest in the first five years of life, and support early childhood education!

Imagine a future where all families are provided the tools, encouragement, and techniques to promote their children’s positive development and well being. At Child and Family Resources, we invite parents of newborn infants and toddlers, particularly those who come from backgrounds of poverty, violence, or substance abuse, to work with our trained counselors. These home visitors partner with parents, providing services in family’s homes, to promote healthy child development, effective nurturing, and rewarding parenting. Investing in home visitation programs is a far more cost effective way to promote literacy and school success than remediation programs that public schools offer.

Imagine a future where children with disabilities or developmental delays have every chance to reach their potential. At Child and Family Resources, our staff- physical therapists, speech pathologists, and counselors partner with parents of young children with special needs to teach them strategies to promote optimal development.

Imagine that future … and now let’s make it so. Join us in efforts to make these things possible! Sign up for our quarterly newsletter, support our efforts, and vote for changes that support families.

Together, we can make this future a reality. 

Corner Office: Collective Effort to Support Children from Cradle to Career

The Sorry State of Children in Pima County

In previous blogs, we’ve highlighted some of the challenges facing our county. One of the issues we’ve discussed is the idea about when children should start school. In Pima County, only 16.5% of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in a quality early education program. That’s approximately 20,400 preschoolers who are at risk for not being ready for kindergarten. And, as is so painfully well known, the chances of graduating high school and succeeding in life decline dramatically for children who enter kindergarten unprepared.

Another larger issue at play is poverty. Poverty is one of the biggest obstacles to academic success children in Pima County are facing: 28.7% of children, youth and young adults (0-24 years old) are living in poverty. Health problems, poor nutrition, residential instability, stress, and lack of access to educational activities and materials all contribute to difficulties in school. Children and youth from low-income families have lower test scores in core subjects and are likely to complete fewer years of schooling. If these students are not effectively supported, they risk experiencing life-long poor outcomes.

Turning the Tide in Pima County

In 2015, a broad coalition of Pima County organizations came together to form the Cradle to Career (C2C) partnership, a project aimed at creating better outcomes for children. Child & Family Resources is proud member of C2C, and there is shared vision that meaningful change will require collective action, and shared responsibility; no one agency or entity is capable of achieving real change alone.

The goals of C2C are as follows:

  • Every child is prepared for school.
  • Every child succeeds in school.
  • Every youth graduates from high school ready for college and career.
  • Every youth who is not in school or work reconnects to education and career pathways.
  • Every youth can attain a post-secondary credential leading to a career that can sustain a family.
  • Every youth is prepared for a career

The biggest return on investment comes from strategies targeting the first 2,000 days of life, so while the goals above span all of childhood and adolescence, the primary focus should be on the early years. As C2C matures, and strategic decisions are made as to where to put finite resources, we will have to figure out a way to ensure that more young children, particularly those from low income families, are able to attend high quality preschool.

Learn more at Cradle to Career.


Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: No one should have to choose between a loved one or a job

A letter from Eric Schindler, President and CEO

Let’s picture this: Maria Suarez, a single mother, is an employee at an agency in Tucson. Last Tuesday, Maria’s six year old daughter, Diana, woke up crying with a raging headache and a fever of 102 degrees!

Luckily, Maria had some children’s Tylenol in the house and was able to get Diana to take a big dose, along with some liquids. So she gave her a cool bath and Diana’s fever went down. Maria got her daughter dressed , dropped her off at school with a reminder to take it easy at school, and go to the nurse’s office if she didn’t feel better. Of course, by lunch time, Maria had a voice mail on her phone asking her to please call the school immediately to make arrangements to come get her sick child.

Maria delayed calling back. On the surface it seems like she’s a neglectful mother. Is she?

Consider what happens next. Consider how at two pm when she placed her call back to the school, her supervisor interrupted her conversation with the school nurse.

“Is your daughter sick, again?” her supervisor asked. “You can’t bring her to the office.”

Maria hesitated as she tried to explain that she didn’t have anybody else to watch her daughter, but her supervisor interrupted, “Maria, you’re an hourly employee, so if you leave now and take off tomorrow we won’t pay you. And, I’m beginning to wonder if you’re really able to manage this job….”

So, Maria can either leave to take care of her sick daughter who needs her or stay at the office in order to secure a reliable paycheck and continues employment, which she and her daughter also need.

This is the dilemma of many people in the United States, because we live in one of the few countries in the world that does not require employers to offer sick days. There are 163 countries around the world that guarantee paid sick time, but not the United States!

Don’t think that scenario sounds real? One in six workers in the U.S. report that they or a family member have been fired, suspended, punished or threatened with such action by an employer because they needed to take sick time for themselves or a family member.

  • Nearly 40% of private sector workers in the U.S. lack paid sick time. The problem is even worse in Tucson, where 50% of all private sector workers lack paid sick time.
  • Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have access to paid sick time than other workers. Among full-time, private sector workers in Tucson who earn less than $15,000 a year, 74% lack paid sick time. Furthermore, 72% of service workers and 82% of workers in Tucson employed less than 35 hours a week lack paid sick time.

Workers should not have to worry about losing their jobs or being punished because they are sick or need to care for an ill loved one. In fact, surveys show that a vast majority of Arizonans from all political parties favor earning paid sick time.

We are proud to be part of a coalition that is working to have the mayors and city councils of Tucson and Tempe pass a modest ordinance that will require employers to offer sick leave if they want to do business in those cities.

Join in the fight! We are looking for stories of people who have had to endure tough circumstances because they had no sick days, or people who have benefited from their sick leave, or other compelling related stories. Please read the flier and fact sheet, and if you know of any clients, colleagues, friends or family who has a story to tell, please encourage them to simply write it in a simple email and send to Molly McGovern or Courtney Frogge


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Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: Critical Years for Childhood Education

A letter from Eric Schindler, President and CEO 

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We all know, and much scientific research confirms, the fact that early childhood education is one of the most important experiences to ensure that children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.  This is particularly true for children who grow up in poverty or in other traumatic environments.  Yet, fewer than one in three Arizona children attend preschool, and only around 16% are in settings that have been found to be of high quality!

We have to shift our thinking about when to start schooling children.

If 90% of critical brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life, then providing high-quality education during those formative years can have a dramatic, long-term positive effect. 

Right now, in Arizona there is public funding to support K-12 public educations systems. We need to make those investments sooner in a child’s life.  Other developed countries in the world are ahead of the United States on this issue. These countries have realized that funding early childhood education leads to better outcomes for society, and actually saves money, when prison, welfare, and other downstream costs are reduced.  Their children’s test scores and academic performance are better than ours. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma invested over 10 years ago in pre-k education, and while full results are pending, early indicators are promising.  In other parts of the U.S., that awareness is dawning.  New York City is now offering universal preschool.  Several other cities, including Phoenix are working on proposals to raise taxes in different ways to pay for preschool for more children.

Here in Tucson, Child & Family Resources is joining forces with members from Children’s Action Alliance, Outer Limits Preschool, United Way of Southern Arizona, Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, the IDEA School, and Easter Seals Blake Foundation as Strong Start Tucson.  With our pooled expertise in early childhood we will work on advocacy issues and seek ways to raise more funds for early childhood education. 

As we as a community are able to ensure that more children, particularly those at risk, are able to attend preschool, we will move the needle on high school graduation rates and poverty reduction. 

Please, stay tuned for future opportunities to affect legislation and direct support to children.  

If you are interested in finding high-quality care and education for your child, you can visit our Child Care Resource & Referral – ARIZONA page.  


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Eric Schinder, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Since 2005, Dr. Eric Schindler has been the President and Chief Executive Officer  for Child & Family Resources, Inc.  Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 1982. After internship training in child and family psychology at U.C. Davis, and postdoctoral training in pediatric psychology in Chicago, he has spent over 30 years working in Tucson community settings as an administrator, director, teacher and practitioner.  A licensed psychologist since 1984, he also served as an adjunct instructor in Family Studies at the University of Arizona for many years. 

Previously, Dr. Schindler served for nine years as the Director of Clinical Services for La Frontera Center, Inc., a comprehensive community behavioral healthcare organization, where he was also the Director of Training for the APA approved Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Consortium. He maintained a  private practice in psychotherapy for 20 years prior to assuming the leadership of Child & Family Resources.

Corner Office: Arizona Ranks 46th in Child Well-Being

A letter from Eric Schindler, President and CEO 

Do you share my vision of an Arizona where children start kindergarten ready to learn and thrive? That is one of the principal keys to future success. Instead, we have to face the reality, as confirmed by the 2015 annual edition of Kids Count, a national report from a child welfare advocacy organization - Arizona ranks 46th among the states on measures of child well being.  Just two of the many heartbreaking, frightening, and infuriating realities:

One of every four children lives in poverty, worse than before the great recession of 2008-9! 

Fewer than one in every three young children get to go to preschool

These numbers are statewide averages, and are worse for children in minority populations.

CFR’s goal is to be part of the solution.  Let me share a couple of examples of how our organization is working, alone as well along with others, to ultimately reduce childhood poverty and increase economic success.

Why do so few children, particularly disadvantaged ones who could most benefit, take part in early childhood education?  While a bit of an oversimplification, the answer is they can’t afford it.  We have to make it a societal priority to provide opportunities for those who can’t afford it, to benefit from well run early childhood education programs.  It pays for itself and then some by averting downstream costs.  CFR has recognized how crucial it is for us to be more than a prevention and early intervention organization.  We have to be advocates and involved in policy making.  The agency is, and will continue to be, more involved in voter registration, voter engagement, Get out the Vote programs, and political coalitions, among other activities aimed at creating the Arizona we deserve.