Tucson Family Thrives with Support of Strengthening Families Program

Tucson Family Thrives with Support of Strengthening Families Program

Child & Family Resources’ (CFR) Strengthening Families program is an opportunity for families to build on their basic family communication skills, parenting and family management. Recently, CFR had the opportunity to work with the Browns* family. Through Strengthening Families weekly sessions, the family learned about love & limits, house rules, encouragement, good listening skills and effective communication. Amazingly, after several sessions sitting down separately and as a family, the family grew in these areas and learned how to communicate positively and effectively with one another.

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MCAP Graduation 2017

Please join us on Thursday, August 24th to celebrate the graduating class of 2017!

Our students from the Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents (MCAP) program have shown courage and dedication in earning their High School Equivalency degrees, gaining vital life skills and healthy parenting skills, and preparing for college and/or career.

We’re so proud of what they’ve accomplished, so let’s come together and celebrate the next chapter of their lives!

Thursday, August 24, 2017  |  6:00pm – 8:00pm |  The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix

RSVP by August 23rd to Laine Seaton.

Honoring LGBTQ People as Equal: A Statement of Inclusion

At Child & Family Resources, we are proud to join Healthy Teen Network in their Statement of Inclusion for the teens and adults in the LGBTQ community. To Choose love-based responses—not fear—to honor our common humanity. Honor #LGBTQ youth as equals. #PrideMonth #Youth360. 

The most recent senseless act of terror based in fear and hate affirms this call to action to let love reign over fear. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of Orlando, and the LGBTQ community around the world.

“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt... If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.” 

- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Healthy Teen Network declares it way past time to let go of fear of LGBTQ people once and for all and let love reign in its stead. Fear leads people to be intolerant of those different from us, including differences in our sexual orientations and gender identities. Fear leads people to say hateful things about others so as to safeguard our beliefs, and thus ourselves. Fear leads to judgment. And fear leads to violence.

Fear manifests itself in name-calling, bullying, and physical harm directed toward people who identify as a member of an other than heterosexual sexuality- or gender identity-based culture group (including, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans, intersex and queer cultures). Fear manifests itself in health and socioeconomic disparities among the LGBTQ population compared to their heterosexual peers, including in substance use, HIV disease, suicide, and homelessness. And fear manifests itself in public policies (approved by fear-motivated policymakers) that discriminate against people who identify as a member of an other-than-heterosexual sexuality- or gender identity-based culture group. This includes laws passed recently in several states in obvious reaction to the ever-broadening acceptance of and civil rights protections for LGBTQ people.

Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. To reach this vision, all of us must repudiate fear-based responses to human differences. Instead all of us must choose love-based responses that honor our common humanity. For people who are LGBTQ, such loving action includes insisting on their rights to raise children without judgment, to sexuality education without shame or stigma, to health and social services without bias, to employment without harassment, and to public accommodations (including restrooms of one’s choosing) without interference.     

Healthy Teen Network declares it way past time to let go of fear of LGBTQ people once and for all and let love reign in its stead. Do you share our belief that a world with adolescents and young adults leading healthy and fulfilling lives includes young people who identify as LGBTQ? What are you doing already, and what more will you do, to honor their equal worth?

Visit Healthy Teen Network


Please consider adding your organization’s name as a supporter of this statement of inclusion. To do so, please complete this short sign-up form.

Guest Blog: Advice to Parents from a Teen

Our guest blogger today is Kelsey Bender, a Cienga student and Youth Mentor with her school's YES Team. January 25-29th is National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Drug Fact Week. Our YES teams around Tucson worked to increase awareness with their peers, families and community members about underage drinking and drug use. We invited Kelsey to give us a teen's perspective on the issue of drugs and parents. 

I have met a lot of parents, on both a casual and a professional level, but, no matter the circumstance, the concerns hardly vary. “How do I know if my child is using/abusing drugs? What do I do?” And honestly, it is hard to say, even as a double agent. 

Children of all ages begin for a plethora of reasons, many I could not name, and it all depends on them. With who? With what? Where? How? While all are undeniably valuable questions, not one is more vital than “Why?” In order to understand such a question, a good place to start is becoming aware of the general signs of use, these could include anything from increase/decrease of social activity to mood swings or withdrawal. Also: sudden carelessness about personal hygiene, disinterest in hobbies, change in sleeping patterns, red/glassy eyes, and a sniffly nose. Then, by reaching the root of the issue, we can better nurture health and recovery. 

Some adolescents who suffer from mental illnesses (such as anxiety or depression) turn to drugs as a coping method, while others do it as a result of peer pressure - primarily from close friends.

In this case, the solution isn’t always forcing them to be under your constant supervision, or smothering them in general. 

In lieu of that, it is important to remember that bad choices do not make anyone a bad person; in fact, it is best to treat this situation with the utmost care, and approach your child in a manner than makes them feel safe and comfortable. 

It is impossible to force someone to share (especially the truth), there has to be legitimate willingness to do so, and making your child feel like they’re on trial usually will not elicit those kinds of feelings! And be open with your child about the dangers of drug use, simultaneously while being honest yet not over-exaggerating; there are a variety of ways you can go about this, starting with a simple family meeting to attending awareness seminars!

All of these are viable options, and will hopefully educate your child on the dangers of these activities, while also encouraging your child to view you as someone they can rely on in times of need.

If you are a teenager seeking support for your drug or alcohol problems, please visit the National Helpline. If you are a parent seeking support for your child, please visit Talk. They Hear You.

More about your Guest Blogger!

Kelsey Bender.JPG

Kelsey Bender has been a member of the Cienega YES Club for three years, and a Youth Mentor for one! She graduates in 2017. She takes her coffee half and half, her favorite animal is a deer, she speaks fluent gibberish, and she can list 26 countries in alphabetical order. After graduation, she plans to study art education on the elementary level. 

Teen Institute 2015

Students gather to plan, to celebrate, to empower, and learn at our annual Teen Institute. Representing Canyon Del Oro, Cienega, Desert View, Flowing Wells, Palo Verde, Pueblo, Sunnyside, and Tucson High, as well as Apollo Middle School, youth spent six days at the University of Arizona, with ten caring and dedicated adults, mapping out projects for the coming year, learning about themselves, learning about others, making friends, and making memories.

That's 83 students consuming 2,500 snacks, walking 8.2 miles each day, climbing 16 flights of stairs, 86 hours of work in a week, and building immeasurable power and connections in life. 

Photos and video by Cristine Dalton Photography

YES is an initiative in Pima County over the past twelve yearsthat mobilizes the power of youth to create conditions for success in schools and communities. YES involves teams from area high schools in a leadership effort that benefits schools and neighborhoods by raising youth voices in messages about community, healthy living, achievement and striving for an alcohol and drug free teen life. 

Teams returning in the new school year 2015-2016 to put their new knowledge and skills into practice by working to increase the sense of connectedness among students and staff at their schools and integrating a youth voice into community efforts with established area coalitions. 

Learn more about YES, visit YES on our Teen Page. 

Collaborating partners: Civil Operations Army National Guard, CODAC Behavioral Health Services, Dairy Queen, Tucson, Midvale location, University of Arizona, Beat 33- DJ Carlos Zeta

Participatinglocal coalitions: LPKNC, Amistades Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, 4R Community Alliance

Funding by: Community Partnership of Southern Arizona under a grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tucson Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition Awarded $4.3 Million to Build Sex Education Programming in Sunnyside School District

With some of the highest teen birth rates and sexually transmitted infections in the United States, Arizona is facing a public health and educational crisis. Four local nonprofits—Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Sunnyside Unified School District, and Child & Family Resources—mobilized as the Tucson Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition (TTPPC) to implement effective, evidence-based, medically accurate, responsible relationships and sexuality education to middle and high school students in the Sunnyside district.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with our partners at the TTPPC to finally be able to bring much needed sex education resources to the Sunnyside community,” said Daniel Hernandez, President of the Sunnyside School District Governing Board. “We hope that this success will lead to other districts following our lead to ensure that the students of Arizona have the information they need to make informed choices.”

This July, the US DHHS, Office of Adolescent Health awarded the coalition $4.3 million, over five years, to train Sunnyside staff, primarily health and science teachers, to teach abstinence-based sexuality education. By the spring of 2016, parents in the Sunnyside district will have the option of allowing their children to receive this important health information. The middle school Making a Difference and high school Reducing the Risk curricula are both evidence-based and age-appropriate curricula that encourage abstinence as a first choice while also providing information about methods of protection. Pregnant or parenting teens will be able to participate in a teen-parent focused program Be Proud, Be Responsible, Be Protective. By 2020, all programs will be self-sustaining within the district. The funding also supports an independent outcomes evaluation of the program by Tucson based LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc.

Over 100 studies have shown that high-quality sexuality education helps young people delay the initiation of sex, and use condoms and contraception when they do become sexually active. These are the very behaviors that are necessary to preventing pregnancy. In 2010, public spending on teen childbearing in the United States totaled an estimated $9.4 billion. Investments in effective teen pregnancy prevention programs are not only providing young people with the information and skills they need to make healthy decisions; they are also good for taxpayers.