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Scottsdale City Council adjusts First Things First IGA to support young families in dire need

A view of Scottsdale Councilwoman Tammy Caputi earlier this summer at the local dais at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/

Scottsdale Family Resource Center serves as vital lifeline

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

In late September, Scottsdale City Council approved an amendment to an existing intergovernmental agreement ensuring hundreds of families have the supplies, support and guidance they need when they welcome a new life into the world.

Scottsdale City Council approved resolution No. 12563 Tuesday, Sept. 20, at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., that allows a budget transfer of $200,000 to help meet the need of operations at the Scottsdale Family Resource Center.

Outreach programs at the Scottsdale Family Resource Center are, in part, provided through services at First Things First, which is a state agency focused on providing families the resources they need the days, weeks and months following a birth.

Scottsdale Human Services Director Greg Bestgen outlined in his September report to City Council the lineage of the creation of the local family resource center born out of necessity.

“[The] family resource centers bring together services and activities that educate, develop skills, and promote positive changes in parenting and child development,” he said of the program established through a First Things First IGA in fiscal year 2016-17.

“This increases the capacity of families to be healthy and dynamic community members. The Scottsdale FRC targets families, parents, caregivers, expectant parents, and their young children ages birth through age 5 — not yet in kindergarten — who are considered at-risk due to high poverty or high needs.”

Mr. Bestgen explains through the municipal agreement at the East Maricopa Regional Partnership, a community assessment pointed out the need for the Scottsdale Family Resource Center about five years ago.

“As part of this mission, the East Maricopa Regional Partnership Council, which is the council that supports Scottsdale, conducted extensive needs assessments and determined that establishing the Scottsdale Family Resource Center would best meet the unique needs of underprivileged children and families,” he said.

“Focusing on the targeted ZIP code areas of 85251 and 85257 in south Scottsdale, outreach will continue to be conducted to reach out to teen parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and young fathers. “During fiscal year 2020/21, the Scottsdale FRC supported 264 unduplicated families with assistance.”

The Scottsdale Family Resource Center provides families:

  • Information and education about child development;
  • Referrals to health educational, recreational and social services;
  • Support and education on social and emotional well-being;
  • Parenting classes; and
  • Family activities.

Mr. Bestgen says the family resource center is a cornerstone of support for many young south Scottsdale families.

“The center provided their families access to 795 resources or referrals, 165 parenting activities — workshops, classes, events, and community groups — to increase parent knowledge of child development, early literacy, parenting skills, child health and safety,” he said in his report to City Council.

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