2 proclamations read at Tolleson City Council
By Joe McHugh, West Valley View Staff Writer
The Tolleson City Council read two proclamations at its recent city council meeting, declaring August 2023 as Child Support Awareness Month and Aug. 31, as Overdose Awareness Day.
The proclamation for Child Support Awareness Month follows suit with Gov. Katie Hobbs’ initiative in 2023 to declare the same proclamation statewide. According to the official statement made by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, it was the opportunity for the state Legislature to focus on the importance of child support for Arizona families.
“We recognize Child Support Awareness Month for two major reasons,” said Corinne Bostick, project manager for the Arizona Department of Economic Security. “The importance of state agencies like DCSS, or the Division Child Support Services, role in collecting these funds to support the children who need them, as well as recognizing the important role that both parents pay and the financial support of their children.”
In the fiscal year 2023, more than 127,000 children were helped by DCSS and nearly $620 million was collected for child support statewide.
These services provide an encompassing level of assistance to families and children to help find an effective solution. These include assistance in obtaining a child support order, collecting support payments for parents with a court order, and helping parents establish paternity.
“I am grateful for the partnerships forged between DCSS and parents who keep their children’s best interests at the top of their minds,” said Angie Rodgers, director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, in an official blog post.
Tolleson is embracing these by taking local initiative on the statewide proclamation, looking to provide child support services to improve the economic stability and well-being of the city’s children.
The second proclamation — Overdose Awareness Day — is an action the city is taking to remove the stigma of drug-related deaths in the city. It also aims to acknowledge the grief that families feel for the loss of their loved ones to drugs.
The announcement at city council further builds on the efforts that Tolleson is making to raise awareness and provide education about substance abuse. Tolleson has already implemented two programs that look to further education, communication, intervention and enforcement on the subject — the Substance Abuse Prevention Education and Substance Abuse Intervention and Enforcement Programs.
These programs provide an initiative for a healthy mind and body, where the city has offered online classes to the public to better inform the community on the action to halt overdoses and drug-related deaths within Tolleson.
“Last year, over 107,000 people died in our country from overdoses,” said George Good, chief preparedness officer for the city of Tolleson.
“Some of those were right here in Tolleson. We have a number of groups in Tolleson — not the least of which is the Vice Mayor Safe Group and others — that are working to decrease this scourge on our society through awareness programs, to Narcan programs and other involvement in the community. So, I just wanted to say thank you for your support.”