FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FOSTER CARE
Q: Who can be foster parents?
A: Arizona’s Children Association seeks out all types of families that can provide a supportive and stable home environment. Arizona’s Children Association is committed to diversity and providing culturally appropriate services.
Q. Do I need to own my own home?
No. You may rent, live in an apartment or a manufactured home. You just need to have adequate, safe living space for a foster child.
Q: Who are foster children?
A: Foster children have been removed from the only home they have known because of physical/sexual abuse, neglect/abandonment. These life experiences may manifest into behaviors associated with trauma. Foster children are in need of a loving, supportive home where they are able to develop with the assistance of devoted parents. Children range in ages from 0-17 years of age and often consist of sibling groups.
Q: What is the role of the foster family?
A: Foster families open their hearts and homes to children who need them. They are entrusted to love, nurture and protect these children, knowing that their time with them is only temporary. Foster parents are there in good times and bad, instilling in the children the skills they will need to face life’s challenges and opportunities. Families are also responsible for working cooperatively with all team participants including birth families.
Q: What are the qualifications?
A: Arizona’s Children Association’s foster families must be approved by the state through the foster licensing process, which includes orientation, interviews, required training hours, fingerprinting and home study. This process typically takes 4-6 months to complete. They must also be:
- 21 years of age (18 for kin)
- married or single
- financially stable
- emotionally ready for parenting
- in good physical health
- free of serious CPS or criminal background
- flexible schedule to meet needs of children in care
- able to provide transportation for children
- willing to consider sibling groups
- available to take in children on emergency notice
- committed to reunification with the child’s biological family
Q: How will AzCA support me through the foster care process?
A: The following are only some of the many ways that AzCA staff will support you in your foster parenting experience. Some of these services are not offered in all areas of the state:
- 24-hour Crisis Support
- Foster Parent Advisory Council
- Licensing Worker Support & Monthly Home Visits
- Bi-Annual Celebrations
- Support Meetings
- Advanced Training
- Free 10-week PS-MAPP Training: Classes are normally held on evenings and/or weekends to accommodate busy schedules.
- Just for Me Bags: Bags are provided to foster parents for their new foster placements. The bags contain age-specific necessities that the child might need in their first days of care.
- Community Involvement: Whenever possible, we utilize community support to provide back to school supplies, holiday gifts, safety supplies and other necessities.
Q: I’m ready to learn more. What is the next step?
A: Regular orientations provide community members with basic information regarding foster care licensure and adoption certification. This is a great opportunity to meet your local AzCA staff members and get answers to all of your questions. Click “Search by County” to contact your local office for information on an upcoming orientation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.