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Responsible Governance


  • We believe that every child in Arizona deserves the opportunity to arrive at school healthy and prepared to succeed.
  • We believe that our role is to provide leadership, advocacy, public policies, programs and means to achieve this vision.
  • We believe that the governance and administration of FTF should be conducted according to the laws of the State of Arizona in an open, transparent, ethical, cooperative and respectful manner.
  • We believe that parents, families and communities are the core of early childhood development and health.

General Responsibilities of the Board

  • The Board will provide the governance, leadership, oversight and vision for FTF.
  • The Board’s only administrative function is to hire the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Through the Chief Executive Officer, the Board will work in partnership with Regional Partnership Councils, Tribal Governments, FTF staff and other organizations with similar goals.
  • The Board will seek to achieve its Mission and Vision through comprehensive early childhood development and health decision-making.
  • The Board supports the FTF strategic directions developed through consensus of stakeholders.
  • The Board recognizes as full members the three ex-officio members who are non-voting by statute.

The Components of the FTF Governance System

I. Responsible Governance

Nine Board members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Arizona Senate to represent all citizens of the State of Arizona. There are three non-voting, exofficio board members—the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Director of the Department of Economic Security and the Director of the Department of Health Services. In carrying out its functions, the Board recognizes the following responsibilities:

  • Formulating and interpreting policies;
  • Delegating administrative duties to the Chief Executive Officer;
  • Making decisions on program and budget matters as recommended by the Chief Executive Officer; and
  • Making a continuous appraisal of programs and administrative matters.

While the Board is charged with the responsibility for developing and enhancing programs to benefit early childhood development and health, the Board delegates the administration of FTF to the Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer is then held responsible to the Board for the execution of all of its approved policies and programs.

The following policies pertain to the functions of the Board:

  • The Board functions only as a unit when the Board is in formal session.
  • The Board will serve as the final authority within FTF to resolve any issue which cannot be resolved through regular administrative channels.
  • The Board is the policymaking body of FTF.
  • The Board will employ and evaluate on a regular basis the Chief Executive Officer.
  • The Board will evaluate and act upon recommendations of the Chief Executive Officer in areas of governance, policy, programs, administration and budget.
  • The Board, working with the Chief Executive Officer, stakeholders and FTF staff, will periodically carry out a strategic planning process for FTF.
  • The Board will conduct at least six regular meetings per year, one of which will determine the elected officers. The elected officers of the Board will be a chairman and vice-chair. In the absence of the chair from a meeting, the vicechair will preside. If the office of the chair becomes permanently vacant, the vice-chair will act as chair until a new chair is elected before the second regular meeting following the vacancy.

II. Relationships of Board, Chief Executive Officer and Staff

Individual Board members exercise authority over FTF policies, programs administration and budgets only as they vote to take action at a legal meeting and in accordance with law. At times, an individual Board member, including the chairman, will have power only when the Board, by vote, has delegated authority to him/her.

Delegation by the Board of its executive powers to the Chief Executive Officer provides him/her the authority to manage FTF within the Board’s policies and state statute. The Board holds the Chief Executive Officer responsible for the administration of its policies, the execution of Board decisions, the operation of the internal organization, and for keeping the Board informed.

The Board as a whole and individual members will:

  • Provide the Chief Executive Officer full administrative authority, holding him/her responsible for acceptable results.
  • Hold all meetings of the Board in the presence of the Chief Executive Officer, except when his/her evaluation and contract matters are being discussed.
  • Refer all inquiries and concerns to the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Transact all of its official business with FTF staff through the Chief Executive Officer unless otherwise arranged.

III. Standards for Board Member Behavior and Conduct of Role.

Because the foundations for success as individuals and for our society as a whole lie in positive early childhood development and health and because membership on the Board is a challenging responsibility, the members of the Board subscribe to the following code.

Board members will:

  • Honor the high responsibility which membership on the Board demands.
  • Understand that the basic function of the Board is policy-making and not administrative.
  • Represent the entire State of Arizona.
  • Respect his/her relationships with other Board members.
  • Respect the opinions of all other Board members.
  • Maintain positive relations with the Chief Executive Officer and the entire FTF staff.


Adopted September 24, 2008
Revised June 11, 2012
Revised December 5, 2017

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