Prevent Child Abuse Arizona wanted to position child abuse prevention as a lead strategy in Arizona’s statewide child safety system. In just six years (2009-2014), Arizona saw a 44% increase in the number of reported cases of child abuse and neglect; today there are over 18,000 children living in foster care in Arizona, and thousands more cases have been left unclosed or uninvestigated. The threat of child abuse and neglect for Arizona’s children and families is of great magnitude, and as PCA Arizona seeks to elevate prevention as a solution to that threat, the number of reported child abuse and neglect cases, and the number of children living in foster care in Arizona, continue to grow.

How we did it: In 2015, ACS assisted PCA Arizona to develop a two-year advocacy strategy to further their goal to position prevention as the lead approach in the child safety system in Arizona. This included messaging and a media engagement strategy. ACS helped PCA Arizona expand its capacity for engagement with the media and the state government through a champion engagement strategy. ACS worked with PCA Arizona leadership to determine the best approach to direct advocacy with the child safety leadership within the Executive branch via the Governor’s office and the Department of Child Safety (DCS), and the Arizona state legislature.

Outcomes: A two-year advocacy strategy document has allowed PCA Arizona to be efficient in its effort to elevate the conversation of prevention and leverage its internal and external staff capacity, resources, and partners to begin to change the dialogue about and related to prevention in Arizona among the media and state legislators.

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