State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General



Department of Economic Security Division of Children, Youth, and Families Child Protective Services—Foster Care Placement Stability and Foster Parent Communication (July 2003, Report No. 03-05)


This audit found that foster children can be unnecessarily harmed by being moved from placement to placement, and foster parents need better information about the children in their care. However, Arizona, like most states, does not meet the national standard for foster care placement stability. Although the Division is already taking steps to improve placement stability, it should consider additional enhancements. For example, the Division should clarify its policy related to case manager visits with foster children to only rarely allow other staff or service provider visits to substitute for case manager visits, and consider whether innovative practices used by other states, such as making single family-group placements would be beneficial. Further, although there are already several good mechanisms for foster parents to receive and provide information about children in their care, additional steps can be taken to improve communication. For example, foster parents report that they would benefit from improved information about children in their care including medical and behavioral health information. Similarly, the Division can improve communication by enhancing its foster parent training, survey mechanism, support groups, and Web site.

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