There are more than 14,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system and there is a critical need for foster families to care for them across the state. We recruit, train and provide necessary supports for our foster families. We pride ourselves on having a variety of unique programs and services available to help meet their needs.
We welcome traditional and non-traditional, single or two-parent families regardless of race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin or disability.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please click here to complete an interest form and we’ll contact you shortly.
steps to foster care
REVIEW THE REQUIREMENTS
- 21 years of age
- Married or single
- Financially stable
- Emotionally ready for parenting
- In good physical health
- Free of serious DCS 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
Attend an Orientation
We’ll discuss the needs of children in care, what it takes to foster or adopt, the process of licensing/certification and the support/resources we provide our families.
Background Check, Home Study,
Home Inspection & Training
Our foster families must be approved by the state through the foster licensing process, which includes a background check, interviews, required training hours, fingerprinting and home study. This process typically takes 4-6 months to complete and begins with an initial visit to your home to review general requirements, paperwork and training.
A foster families first step to becoming licensed is to visit https://dcs.az.gov/foster and complete an orientation. This orientation will generate a certificate for attending the orientation.
Foster Parent College is a 5-week training course. This training is intended to aid potential foster/adoptive parents in understanding the children’s needs, introduces parents to the child welfare system and their role, and gives families and the agency an opportunity to get to know one another. This pre-service training consists of 11 online courses and 15 hours of in-class instruction. In addition to this 5-week training course, foster families will also attend a trauma specific education class called Healing Through Relationships that will aid in their understanding of the effects of trauma and how to help children heal. The final pre-service required class is Medication Administration.
Towards the end of the 5 week Foster Parent College class, foster care specialists will schedule interviews with all adult members of the household. These are typically 2-3 hour individual interviews to get to know your family, your childhood, your education and job experience, your relationships, and significant life events and how they have affected you. This will also be the time that children in the home will be interviewed. Home inspections are also usually completed during these last weeks of training. For a foster family, when they are ready, the Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR) conducts a home inspection. For adoptive families, your foster care specialist will conduct a home inspection to ensure everything is in compliance with state standards.
After completing Foster Parent College, Healing Through Relationships, Medication Administration, and completing the necessary paperwork, foster care specialists finalize the information they need to complete your home study.
During the thirty to sixty days after a family completes Foster Parent College, foster care specialists write your home study which is usually 20 – 25 pages. This is a report on all of the information gathered about the family, background, training, experiences, how the family operates and any other relevant information. For foster families, the home study is submitted to the Office of Licensure and Regulation for licensing and may take several weeks to review the studies. When a foster family is licensed, they go on AzCA’s placement list and are ready to be matched with children who need a home.