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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:
1.
Parent education and advocacy training, provided through
a.
A research-based home visitation program, Parents as Teachers, and
b.
A parent advocacy research- and evidence-based Strengthening
Multi-ethnic Families approach;
2.
Academic enrichment using evidence-based programs and best prac-
tices, including
a.
Reading programs recommended by the Children's Defense Fund
Freedom School, and
b.
Big Math for Little Kids,
recommended and sponsored by
ASU-Polytechnic;
3.
Social services and workforce readiness, including
a.
Connecting families with social service support systems,
b.
Preparing individuals and families for gainful employment,
Maintaining a formal alliance with the Maricopa Workforce
Connection.
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
c.
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