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services throughout Maricopa County and the State of Arizona. FOZ
works to empower communities through community capacity building
and helping people become more self-sustaining by focusing on the
strengths of community through a human asset-based philosophy. It is
especially notable during the recent economic downturn that FOZ
demonstrated the value of capacity building through some of the following
supportive and collaborative approaches.
FOZ represented a unique opportunity for addressing the needs of the
community during the recent economic downturn. The FOZ member
organizations each have a strong record of serving the target population
of high-risk and vulnerable families. Through the combined efforts and
unique strengths of all consortium members, FOZ has a significant impact
on the health, well-being, and culture of families with children and
adults, moving them from financial crisis or instability to greater func-
tioning and/or self-sufficiency. FOZ seeks to accomplish this by
increasing parent education and advocacy, job readiness training, aca-
demic attainment, social service support, and career development. Each
member organization of the consortium offers its unique resources and
expertise in the following three areas:
Parent education and advocacy training, provided through
A research-based home visitation program, Parents as Teachers, and
A parent advocacy research- and evidence-based Strengthening
Multi-ethnic Families approach;
Academic enrichment using evidence-based programs and best prac-
tices, including
Reading programs recommended by the Children's Defense Fund
Freedom School, and
Big Math for Little Kids,
recommended and sponsored by
Social services and workforce readiness, including
Connecting families with social service support systems,
Preparing individuals and families for gainful employment,
Maintaining a formal alliance with the Maricopa Workforce
The FOZ consortium leverages the collective strength of the three
major partners to invest in the well-being of children and families in the
community. After 320 years of replicating individual efforts, FOZ has real-
ized the lack of leverage in that process and understands that strength lies
within the collaboration. The economic downturn and job displacement
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