The Arizona Coalition for Military Families is a nationally-recognized public/private partnership focused on building Arizona’s statewide capacity to care for, serve and support all service members, veterans, their families and communities.The creation of the Coalition was in direct response to the primary need identified by those who work with service members, veterans and their families…coordination and collaboration between the many individuals and organizations throughout the state.
At the same time that this need was identified, the Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP) was implemented at the Arizona National Guard Joint Family Programs Office. The purpose of JFSAP is to support military families from all branches of the armed forces and to build the community’s capacity to assist families. The initial structure of JFSAP allowed for each state to implement the program according to the needs of the individual state. In Arizona, the approach taken heavily emphasized community capacity building. The overarching goal was to utilize the resources to implement the mandate in a way that leverages existing resources and created a sustainable effort that can exist beyond the funding period of JFSAP.
To achieve this leveraging and sustainability, a branded, cohesive effort was developed. That effort is a public/private partnership in the form of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families. The Coalition has a fiscal sponsor, Empowerment Systems, Inc., an established Arizona nonprofit organization and was launched in August 2009.
The University of Arizona hosted a planning session on campus for veterans, their families, businesses and local organizations to engage them in developing the souther Arizona network of partners. Students from SGPP's Collaborative Governance Program assisted with coordination and facilitation of small group meetings at that event.