Great Things: Three Stories

Andrea Vasquez

Andrea joined Child & Family Resources' Youth Empowered for Success (YES) as a student in high school. She participated as an active member of the group, until she assumed a leadership role as a Youth Mentor, helping to lead her school and team members in community building projects. 

Now, she is actively pursuing a degree in social work at Arizona State University. Read ASU's article about her -- including the role YES played in her career decisions: Dreamer Proves Hard Work Pays Off. 

>> Learn more about YES

Kathy and Katia

Katia's birth took an unexpected turn -- already diagnosed with a heart murmur, Katia's heart beat slowed dangerously during delivery and doctors rushed Kathy into emergency C-section. Katia was born with facial palsy, a heart murmur, deafness, and  breathing challenges to due to issues with her trachea . It was nothing like what she and her husband had imagined, but Kathy says, "She was perfect for us." Katia was a feisty baby, showing a strong will to thrive, and she grew into a little girl who loved to dance, dress up, and put on makeup. 

Kathy and family joined Child & Family Resources' Healthy Families program, when Katia was a baby. Roxanne, their Family Support Specialist, was there to encourage them all to do well, and guide the family through normal stages of development. She even helped Kathy guide Katia through potty training. 

Kathy and Katia graduated from Healthy Families. Last year, Katia started school where she continues to shine. Healthy Families will always be a part of their experience. ""Roxanne is a friend," Kathy said, "I loved working with her."

>> Learn more about Healthy Families

Quality Early Care

We already know that one of the great barriers to employment is finding quality child care, but it's not as commonly acknowledged as a barrier to education, as well (although, there is some gaining acknowledgement of the issue). Yet, at Child & Family Resources, we know that one of the big reasons that young mothers fail to complete education is because of a lack of access to quality child care.

Child & Family Resources' Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents (MCAP) has eliminated that barrier, providing a free, on-site, accredited, and four-star rated, on-site Early Learning Center. The Early Learning Center is directly across the hall from the classrooms, allowing mother the opportunity to check in on her child and participate in special projects or festivities, like Halloween! While mothers pursue their High School Equivalency, their children are getting a head start on their education, because highly skilled teachers are providing an environment that will lay a strong foundation for all of their future learning. 

>> Learn more about MCAP
>> Learn more about Quality Child Care

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.