Keeping Up With Arizona’s Kids


Arizona’s child welfare system has been in a state of crisis for several years, and while the number of uninvestigated reports has decreased, there continue to be disparities in the number of children of color in care and those who transition out of care.

At this program, Arizona Grantmakers Forum members learned the latest on children in care and discussed key initiatives providing support to children and families before they enter care, foster students and young adults who transition out of care. We also provided an overview of the Family First Act which can provide substantial support for prevention services to these families and address disparities in this vulnerable population.

To take a closer look at the specific funding needs and the role for Arizona’s philanthropic community during this program, Arizona Republic Reporter Mary Jo Pitzl moderated a panel discussion with presenters.

Presenter Slides and Resources

Child Welfare Data and Family First Act Presentation

Fostering Advocates Arizona Presentation

Collective Impact for Child Safety and Well-Being Presentation

Fostering Advocates Arizona – Policy Recommendations

Annie E. Casey Foundation – Future Savings by Improving Outcomes: Strategies for Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

Arizona Republic/ Coverage

A former foster child:

A DCS case manager:

A foster parent:

Kids in a shelter:

The presiding judge of the Maricopa County Juvenile Court:


Dana Wolfe Naimark | President & CEO | Children’s Action Alliance

Dana has been part of the Children’s Action Alliance team for 25 years, conducting analysis, raising awareness and lobbying the state legislature on a wide variety of policy issues that affect parents and children. She was named CEO by the CAA board of directors in December 2006. Dana started her career in Arizona in 1986 working on tax and budget issues for the Arizona state legislature. She earned her master’s in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

 Beth Rosenberg, LCSW | Director of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Policy | Children’s Action Alliance

Beth Rosenberg has extensive experience in child welfare policy development and respected success in administrative and legislative advocacy. She joined CAA in 1997 and previously worked for the Department of Economic Security and the Arizona State Legislature. Beth holds a master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cassie Breecher | Principal Consultant | Beyond Strategy Consulting Group

As Principal Consultant at Beyond Strategy Consulting Group, Cassie Hilpman-Breecher works alongside public, private, and social benefit organizations to help them move from vision to action.  From one of the smallest school districts to one of the largest funders of health and human services efforts in Maricopa County, Cassie’s 15-year history working with organizations of all sizes has fueled her belief that healthy organizations produce high-quality results for children, families, and communities.

Janet Garcia | Senior Director | Casey Family Programs

Janet Garcia is a senior director for Casey Family Programs and is responsible for the operation of the Arizona Field Office as well as overseeing Casey’s system improvement work in Arizona. Prior to joining Casey Family Programs in 2014, Janet spent five years at the Valley of the Sun United Way, developing and overseeing programs for children birth to five. Prior to the United Way, Janet was deputy director in the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families where she worked with the director to oversee the divisions for women, substance abuse prevention, youth development and school readiness and had primary responsibility for managing the division for children. She oversaw federal grants, staffed the juvenile justice commission and worked across departments to improve coordination of services for children, youth and families involved in multiple systems.


Mary Jo Pitzl | Reporter | The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network

Mary Jo currently covers child-welfare issues at The Arizona Republic where she has also covered a variety of beats, ranging from education to transportation to the environment. She recently concluded a 10-year assignment at the state Capitol bureau and lived to tell about it. She is a resident of central Phoenix and a proud resident of the F.Q. Story neighborhood. She also helps run a journalism contest that features the best work in 14 Western states, and in the process, raises money for First Amendment causes. Mary Jo is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned degrees in journalism and French. She also earned a diploma in international development at the Flinders University of South Australia.