Arizona Youth Partnership: Healthy Marriages/Strong Families

group of smiling peopleToday, fewer Americans are getting married. And for those couples who tie the knot, statistics say that half will end in divorce.

The Administration for Children and Families believes a strong marriage leads to better health, economic independence and quality of life for couples who have chosen marriage for themselves.

Thanks to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, funding was provided to help local community centers like Arizona Youth Partnership (AzYP) conduct education services to sustain healthy marriages.

AzYP, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, works with youth and families living in 29 rural communities across nine counties in the state of Arizona to bring needed resources to unserved and under-served communities.

AzYP works in partnership with communities to develop resources to promote the positive growth of their children by:  1) teaching youth healthy decision making skills; 2) teaching couples healthy relationship skills; 3) teaching parents how to communicate with their children; and 4) facilitating community coalitions to create and implement strategic plans to reduce underage drinking and drug use.

After a weekend retreat, participants shared their stories of success:

“At first I didn’t think it was going to work – didn’t think we would even make it through the weekend retreat – but we did and my husband is using the tools and things have changed for the better and are so wonderful now.  We have moved into a new house, our work life is going great, our home life is going great, we are both attending church – life is wonderful.  Thank you for helping us make the positive changes!” said one participant.

Another participant shared how much better his relationship with his wife had become.  He said, “I used to hate coming home to my wife.  When I did come home it was really to throw money at her and leave before we could get into an argument.  Now, with the tools that we learned during the weekend, I can’t wait to come home and be able to discuss issues with my wife.  I never knew that we had such a strong marriage.  All we needed were the tools.  Thank you for the work you do.”