PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey and First Lady Angela Ducey today received the Childhelp Diamond Jubilee Voice of Children Award at the Childhelp National Day of Hope Breakfast in Washington D.C. At the event, hosted by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Governor Ducey and the First Lady were recognized for Arizona’s efforts to improve child welfare.
Childhelp, a national nonprofit organization based in Arizona, works to prevent and provide treatment for abused, neglected and at-risk children. The organization is celebrating its 60 year anniversary and the milestone of reaching 10.5 million children since its founding.
“Angela and I are honored to accept this award on behalf of all of the foster, adoptive and kinship families, caseworkers, mentors, teachers, faith leaders, volunteers and more who work tirelessly each day to serve Arizona’s children and families,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona has turned around its child welfare system — becoming a model for improving outcomes and providing kids safe and loving homes. We’re proud of this progress, but we are never going to stop fighting for Arizona’s kids.”
“Turning things around in our state has been a truly collective effort,” said Mrs. Ducey. “Childhelp has been indispensable in this effort and making lasting and impactful changes in the lives of our children, and we are grateful for their service. We look forward to continue partnering with them to prevent child abuse and to give at-risk children hope for years to come.”
“Under Doug Ducey’s administration, we have seen a turnaround of the child welfare system,” said Childhelp Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Sara O'Meara at the breakfast. “Governor Ducey and Mrs. Ducey have brought Arizona's child welfare system from the very bottom to the top. They are creating a national model for trauma-informed care.”
Arizona has worked to improve outcomes at the Department of Child Safety (DCS). The state moved from last place to first place in foster care reduction, safely decreasing the number of children in out-of-home care 25 percent from a record high of 19,000 in 2016. Arizona has also reduced the caseload for DCS caseworkers by 70 percent, helping caseworkers better serve Arizona’s most vulnerable children.