Thursday, December 15, 2011

AzCA announces the formation of The Fred Chaffee Center for Excellence in Prevention Services

After 20 years of service to the children and families of Arizona, Fred J. Chaffee will step down from his position as President and CEO of Arizona’s Children Association in January of 2012. Members of the Board of Directors of Arizona's Children Association (AzCA) announced this week that they are establishing permanent recognition of Chaffee’s dedication and leadership to the agency by incorporating his name into some of the many programs that he helped build and sustain.

The Fred J. Chaffee Center for Excellence in Prevention Services promotes the development of healthy children, strong families, and safe communities. A component of the Arizona’s Children Association, the Center unites programs and initiatives within AzCA and its family of agencies that enhance the well being of Arizona’s diverse population. The Center builds on the legacy of former Executive Director Fred Chaffee and honors his leadership in transforming AzCA to an agency that works to prevent problems as well as to treat them.

“I am proud of the significant increase in prevention services provided by this agency during my time here,” said Fred Chaffee. “Prevention services enable our staff to work with families to address problems at their base, before they become long-term and more expensive to address. We realized early on that we needed to go upstream to prevent problems, rather than waiting downstream for the problems to come to us and our families.”

In 1992, Fred Chaffee joined Arizona’s Children Association (named Arizona Children’s Home Association at the time) as Executive Director, bringing with him many years of experience in the field of child welfare and behavioral health management. The last 20 years have brought much growth and prosperity to this agency. It was during his tenure that Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) grew from a $5 million agency serving 5,000 children and families annually into a $40 million agency serving 46,000 children and families each year. Chaffee’s role was critical in expanding services statewide and in the mergers of AzCA with each one of its now seven members of its family of agencies.

The prevention services programs of Arizona’s Children Association are diverse and span statewide. Particular AzCA facilities including The Parent Connection, Golden Gate Community Center and New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development and limited additional AzCA locations will receive signage designating their role as providers of prevention services.

“The success of this organization and the fact that we have reached our centennial this year is due in large part to Fred Chaffee’s leadership and innovation through both good times and bad,” said Tom Knox, past chair of the board of directors. “We have truly been blessed by having such a committed and consistent leader throughout these last two decades.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shirts with a Message

One of the highlights of summer at Golden Gate Community Center, is the annual t-shirt design competition. For four years now, the challenge is on as kids of all ages put in their best effort to create a design to be chosen to represent the Center. The kids draw out their ideas on a t-shirt template and staff serves as competition judges. The various designs each year show just how connected these youth are to the Center.

The kids will tell you that the shirts they wear are a point of pride for them because it identifies them with the Center and they are proud to claim that the artist is their friend.

This year’s winner is 8th grader Angelica Herrera, shown here with her winning design which reads "Golden Gate Community Center, Another Word 4 Family." She has been coming to the Center for two years now with her sister and she participated in the summer activities daily.

The best part is that the staff is able to cover the shirt costs even with their limited summer budget. Grants for their summer budget have continued to decrease each year, but staff ensure that a portion is reserved for the production of the shirts so that everyone is included in the feeling of unity that these shirts provide.

To learn more about the programs and services offered by Golden Gate Community Center, visit or call 620.233.0017.