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Arizona Department of Child Safety—Foster Home Recruitment, Licensure, Use, and Retention—Department engages in recommended recruitment practices but foster parent feedback indicates a need for improved customer service and more information about children


The Arizona Department of Child Safety (Department) maintains a supply of licensed family foster homes (foster homes) to provide care for children who have been removed from their homes because of alleged abuse or neglect. Foster homes care for a considerable portion of Arizona’s children in out-of-home care. According to a Department report, over 5,500, or 41 percent, of these children ages 0 to 17 were placed in foster homes as of June 30, 2019. The Department contracts with multiple agencies (contractors) to help recruit and support foster homes, and new contracts were awarded effective September 1, 2019. Prospective foster homes must meet several requirements to become licensed, and the Department’s licensing standards are generally consistent with model standards. Additionally, the Department reported placing over 40 percent of children in out-of-home care in foster homes during fiscal years 2018 and 2019, although federal fiscal year 2017 data indicates the Department used foster homes to a lesser extent when compared nationally. The Department has also engaged in recommended foster home recruitment practices and estimates needing additional foster homes for certain groups of children, such as teenagers and large sibling groups. However, feedback provided by foster parents over several years has consistently indicated a need for improved Department customer service and more information about children in their care. In addition, we identified inadequate intake practices that could impede foster home recruitment efforts. Finally, the Department should continue improving its contract monitoring approach.

Follow-Up Report

Additional Documents

Additional Documents