Thank you!

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current projects:

thriving families, safer children

In partnership with: Prevent Child Abuse America, Case Family Programs, The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children's Bureau.

 

National Partners have joined together with parents, youth, caregivers and community organizations and with partners across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to assist Thriving Families, Safer Children (TFSC) jurisdictions in creating a more just and equitable child and family well-being system.

The National Partners are committed to transformational change demonstrated by these principles:

  • Supporting families and communities by promoting physical, emotional, and economic well-being and enhancing wellbeing environments

  • Supporting parents, caregivers, and youth with lived experience as leaders in this work and co-creating solutions together Utilizing data to guide structural and systemic responses

  • Deepening innovative partnerships and cross-sector collaborations

  • Promoting equity and healing through whole family and community approaches and creating a new system free of systemic racism that values all families

  • Building capacity for cross-cultural and cross-sector dialogue, systems thinking for social change, and human-centered design

  • Prioritizing social determinants of health

  • Building trusting relationships at the community, local, state, and national levels to shift the trajectory of the child welfare system
     

The National Partners will create learning opportunities as well as a space to share learnings across the organizational level about how the teams are working together; what they are attempting to accomplish and how; and the opportunities and challenges they see to support the TFSC site transformation.

For more information visit: Prevent Child Abuse America

project hometeam

Project HomeTeam is a initiative with the goals of bringing awareness to the overrepresentation of communities involved in the child welfare system and to partner with the community to empower families to create safe and nurturing home environments. Project HomeTeam is a trauma informed, strength based approach. We work within the community to educate on individual racism, institutional racism and structural racism. We aim to increase cultural awareness and sensitivity, define what meets the level of neglect (Poverty vs. Neglect), aim to clarify the criteria of what meets the level of neglect and partner with families to cultivate, grow and protect their visions for the future.​

Through this initiative we hope to:

  • Explore ways to develop capacity within the Black community of Goodyear​

  • Develop a collective voice among African American leaders that  can overcome resistance and reluctance among ourselves. ​

  • Hold a solutions-based workshop where the definition of accountability is re-defined as answerability.

  • Take a deeper dive into the power of gatekeeping that everyone has, and which is often under-utilized, especially in the decision-making process.​

  • Assure the adoption a common language of racial equity term for use both internally and externally. ​ ​

  • Create safe spaces to continue these conversations on an on-going basis.

  • Develop ways to engage and educate prospective foster and adoptive parents through a racial equity lens.

  • Collaborate with health care systems to address disparities in drug testing mothers at birth with no medical reason to do so

  • Find ways to involve law enforcement in the conversation.​

  • Invite representatives of the court system to join the conversation with a view toward more equitable outcomes for Black people.​

  • Explore strategies to assist non-Black employers to enhance their ability to identify, recruit, interview, and hire Black people. ​

  • Collaborate with city leaders to discuss ways rebuild/refurbish deteriorating infrastructures.​

  • Provide continuing education modules for mandatory reporters to develop a deeper level of cultural competency. ​

  • Tell the truth about current and historic racial inequity, including the systemic financial incentives of selling Black children. Consider calling out the “trafficking of Black children.”​

  • Develop deeper understanding about the fact that policies may not always be the problem, but the challenge may be interpretation and implementation – or lack thereof. ​

  • Find ways to make clear that there are cultural differences in parenting styles. In other words, certain ways of discipline in the Black community may not constitute abuse or neglect. 

  • Understand the history of racism in AZ, and how those effects linger today. In other words, what is the historic significance of concepts like operating in silos, cactus mentality, and ”crabs in a barrel” syndrome as they relate to the Black community in AZ today?​

  • In addition, (as a subset of history), explore the history of White violence in this country (enslavement, lynching, mass incarceration, etc.) and its lingering effects on the Black community today. ​

  • As schools are watering down the truth about history, find ways to teach the children real history using child-appropriate resources.​

safeguarding the black family

This project is in partnership with the Arizona Center for African American Resources.

We have a unique opportunity to partner with willing community members, resource organizations and government leaders to discuss strategy and develop a plan to address a long-standing problem that has impacted the Black community for decades. In Arizona, the Black population represents approximately 4% of the total. Yet, Black children currently in the custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety (AZDCS) make up a staggering 16%.  Black young adults make up 20% of those who remain in the care of AZDCS. These numbers illustrate part of the impact on the Black community; however, the trauma Black families experience due to these facts is difficult to measure. 

The majority of the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline reports allege neglect at ~ 70%. Black children are reported to the Hotline at 3.7 times their rate in the state’s population. The over-reporting is largely due to racial bias and results in disparate outcomes for Black families.  Mandated reporters open the doors to inequitable intervention by AZDCS, who in turn deliver families to a Juvenile Justice system that terminates 50% of those parent child relationships. Learning about systemic racism in the child welfare system will require hearing from judicial officers and gaining insight from law enforcement, school personnel and health care workers as the top reporter to the Child Abuse Hotline. Helping to understand perspectives may shed light on areas for change. 

 

We believe the community voice is vitally important in developing solutions and aim to host listening sessions with members of the Black community impacted by child welfare in Arizona. The family home is one of the most sacred spaces on earth. When those from outside a home invade that space, impose their view and will upon a vulnerable family it invokes serious feelings of violation. Oversurveillance of the Black community is common across systems but often child welfare is over looked. We plan to convene system leaders and community members to discuss findings, review data and develop a plan of action.

For more information on Safeguarding the Black Family and community listening sessions visit: OURSB

direct family support

Our Sister Our Brother works to foster connections in order to provide families leverage and continued support, both throughout their involvement in the child welfare systems and in their everyday lives. Support provision comes in many forms—we are more than happy to have an advocate from our organization attend important meetings with you. Whether that be court hearings, TDM (Team Decision Making) Meetings, CFT’s (Child and Family Team) Meetings, home visits with other case managers or providers, and more! We want to ensure that you have full understanding of the discussions being had at these vital staffings, and an extra voice to represent you and your family.

 

We also want to make sure that you are aware of all the helpful resources available to your family within your own community. We are here to show you how to seek help in order to meet your family’s needs, whether that be looking for resources for food, mental health help, or rental assistance.

 

Strengthening and engaging the community is paramount to the pathway of unity and success. For every person that needs help, is another person that can provide help—just as you would to your own sister, or your own brother.

our partners

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