[Source: Arizona State University] — Maricopa County has experienced remarkable population growth for decades, and will continue to do so. But while expanding metro areas tend to pay close attention to physical infrastructure — diligently budgeting for roads, sewers, schools, and the like — there is often a relative lack of attention to meeting the future demands for human services.
Greater Phoenix Forward, a new report by Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, aims to help fill that gap. It offers community and policy leaders and human services practitioners the latest data and new perspectives for understanding the Valley’s human services infrastructure and a “big picture” of future needs. “The number of Greater Phoenix residents who will need various human services is very likely to grow faster than the workforce and fiscal resources — and maybe the political will — needed to serve them,” said Debra Friedman, University Vice President and Dean of the College of Public Programs.
Part one of a three-phase project, Greater Phoenix Forward seeks to help guide public policy decisions based on sound research, objective analyses, and public discourse. It contains:
- Data describing human services structures and functions in Maricopa County
- Trends for the populations who provide and use these services
- Analyses of how to sustain the present level and quality of human services
- A glimpse of how current service trends could play out by 2012
- A presentation of critical policy challenges for the future
Phase two will include discussions between authors of the report and Arizona policy makers, executives of human services-providing organizations, leading human services practitioners, and community leaders. In the third phase, the authors and College administrators will become resources to public, nonprofit, and private sector leaders as they shape and implement plans and investments to address the challenges that lie ahead. [Note: To read the full article, click here.}