September 2022 Newsletter


Welcome New Board Members

Kelly Legler, LCMHC

Vice President

Kelly Legler is a dynamic and accomplished therapist and Clinical Director at Spectrum Healthcare Group. Bringing more than 20 years of leadership experience to her practice with patients and supervision of clinical teams, Kelly demonstrates energy, purpose and drive in all her efforts. Her expertise and passion include working with teens and families, people struggling with suicidal ideations, challenges that surround adoption (working with birth parents, adoptive parents, and children), and building strong organizational culture. Kelly lives in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona, with her husband, teenage son, and two dogs that keep her active! She has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with an emphasis in trauma and crisis intervention. She is pursuing her Doctorate in Psychology, focusing on leadership and organizational development. 

Dorene Washington, an Arizona native, is the senior program coordinator for Northern Arizona University’s School of Nursing. Previously, she was the associate director of transfer initiatives at Columbia College, Chicago. Dorene is currently in the process of securing her LLC to serve the homeless communities in Flagstaff. She is a certified first responder and is working on her CPR teaching certification. Dorene’s passion is to help the underserved, abused, and the forgotten in society. Dorene has seen first-hand the devastating results of child abuse and is determined to educate the high-risk populations to end the vicious cycle.

Dorene also has a podcast on which she reads bedtime stories for toddlers, and also volunteers with Sun Sound radio, providing audio access to print information to people who cannot read or hold print material due to a disability.

Dorene Washington Board Member

Program Director, Meghan Hays- Davis

Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia, Arizona State University

Master of Social Work

Impact Story

On Friday, May 13, the Yavapai County Juvenile Courthouse was full of cross-sector professionals eagerly gathered for an in-person training on The Intersection of Child Welfare and Early Childhood Mental Health presented by Dr. Lorenzo Azzi. These individuals participate in Yavapai County Best for Babies, which aims to improve outcomes for maltreated infants and toddlers through increased judicial leadership, community collaboration, and workforce development.

The professional connections made at these meetings can be life-changing. At the May training, Carlos Garcia, a former caseworker for the Department of Child Safety, excitedly approached Prevent Child Abuse Arizona Program and Training Director Meghan Hays-Davis with photos of his graduation from ASU's School of Social Work with his Master of Social Work degree. “I did it!” Carlos exclaimed, “and it all started because of you!”

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How Temporary Investments in the Child Tax Credit & Child Care Impacted North Carolina Families

In this report, the Center for the Study of Social Policy explores how federal investments in the Child Tax Credit and child care helped North Carolina families and early educators get through the pandemic, leading them to feel supported by policymakers and valued for their contributions to society. The findings are clear: to advance economic and racial equity, we must ensure that families and professional caregivers have the permanent, comprehensive support they need.

Read the Report

SHIFT Summit: Hope to Healing

The mission of Arizona SHIFT (Safe Healthy Infants & Families Thrive) is to identify and support pregnant parents affected by substance use disorder and provide person-centered, high-quality, trauma-informed, culturally responsive and compassionate care. Our commitment to Arizona is to forge a robust network of community care providers to support families with a coordinated, integrated, and non-stigmatizing approach. On October 14, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona is hosting a virtual summit to prepare Arizona collaborators in adopting the SHIFT approach to meet the needs of parents and infants affected by substance use. On October 21, the Summit will continue in-person at the Phoenix Hilton Airport. It is free to attend the virtual summit and $50 to attend the in-person portion.


The Parenting Brief

Check out this podcast for parents featuring tips from fellow parents and the latest insights from childhood experts! It’s hosted by mom and early childhood development expert Jessica Stewart-Gonzalez. You got this, mom!

Check it out


Fry’s Community Rewards Program

The Kroger Family of Companies is committed to community engagement, positive social impact and charitable giving at the national and local levels. One of the ways they do this is through their Fry’s Community Rewards program, in which Fry’s donates to local organizations based on the shopping you do every day. Just go to, sign-in to your account, and search for Prevent Child Abuse Arizona to select it as your organization of choice. Then, PCAAZ will benefit every time you shop at Fry’s and swipe your Shopper’s Card!

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Hello from the Other Side

On May 21, my daughter Kira was born. I’m now a mom. 

It’s somewhat surreal. It feels a bit like I’ve been in a different dimension for the past three months, probably due to the stark shift in my sleep habits and so many other wild changes.


I am seeing a human being grow in visible ways on a daily basis. What used to be thoughtless tasks, like cutting my nails or folding the laundry, now need to be intentionally squeezed into unpredictable stretches of nap time. Countless little things needed to be figured out: how to correctly strap her in her car seat. How to get those little arms into long sleeve little shirts. The most strategic places to keep burp cloths around the house so we would have one when needed (which turned out to be everywhere). Every day we discover more of who she is. 

I had expected it to be stressful and hard to have a newborn and to figure it all out. It certainly has been at times. But I had forgotten to anticipate that it would also be deeply, ridiculously, wondrously meaningful. Parenting is an extraordinary part of the human experience. And for the past three months, I had the privilege of being devoted to it. To learning a new job. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t overwhelming, either.

That’s because I had paid parental leave. 

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As a 501(c)3 organization, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona is eligible to receive bequests. Please contact Molly Peterson at if you would like to discuss including Prevent Child Abuse Arizona in your legacy.

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona can only accept donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations located in the State of Arizona.

Tax ID #86-0832901

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona is dedicated to strengthening families and protecting children through collaboration, education, and advocacy. The organization provides research-based prevention services, education and training to help promote strong families and safe, healthy children. For more information, visit