Recent data regarding child and family well being in Maricopa County indicates their needs are not being met, despite the many organizations attempting to protect, educate and help those families flourish. MFSA is determined to prove that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In a 2012 report by the Children’s Action Alliance (CAA), Arizona has seen a 24% surge in the number of child abuse and neglect reports since October 2009.
The number of Arizona children in foster care grew from 10,124 to 14,369 between August 2008 and November 2012 while the number of foster homes decreased according to the CAA.
Only 35% of Arizona children ages 3 to 4 are enrolled in preschool – ranking 48th out of the 50 states. Preschool and early childhood education are considered strong indicators of academic success.
Arizona ranks near the bottom for Overall Child Well-Being according to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book.
In 2011, over one-fifth of Maricopa County children under 18 were living below the poverty line, a steady increase since 2005 according to KIDS COUNT.
According to The Arizona Repulic, the high school graduation rate for Arizona is 67.2% - lower than the US average of 74.7%.
Recent declines in Arizona’s teen pregnancy rate are dramatic. Arizona had the largest decline (29%) in the nation between 2007 and 2010 according to the 2013 Arizona State Health Assessment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Maricopa County unemployment rate has decreased from 9.6% in 2010 to 7.1% in 2012, below the US unemployment rate.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security reported that, from April 2012 through March 2013, 6,165 children in Maricopa County were removed by CPS, a dramatic increase from April 2009-March 2010 (4,541).