"GO-TO" Guide for Foster and Kinship Caregivers
A "GO-TO" Guide for Foster and Kinship Caregivers
This Guide provides basic information about the child welfare system in Arizona to help you understand how children come into care, why they are there, and the rules and policies that have been created to protect children in out-of-home care. It has information about the roles and responsibilities of the people connected to the child welfare and court systems who may work with a child, his or her family, and your family.
The information in this guide is primarily focused on the needs of persons (adult caregiver givers and other household members) providing care to children in the custody of the Department of Child Safety (DCS). Each DCS caregiver should have a copy of the following resource handbooks and handouts. They are the must have reference guides for all families.
- Title 21 Chapter 6, the Licensing Rules
- DCS Discipline Policy Resource Guide
- Mercy Care DCS CHP (Comprehensive Health Plan) Member Handbook
- Confidentiality Guidelines for Foster Parents
- Family Foster Home Agreement
- Child Placement Rates and Special Allowances Approval Matrix (CSO 1109)
If you do not have copies of this information, please contact your licensing agency or DCS Specialist for assistance in obtaining these documents.
Foster and Kinship Caregivers with the Department of Child Safety (DCS)/Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) or Department of Health Services (DHS)/Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA)/Home Care Treatment Care for Home Care Clients (HCTC) will need some or all of these reference guides in addition to the information specific to either program services.Download the Full Go-To Guide
Section 1: DCS Guiding Principles
Describes what the Department of of Child Safety (DCS) is about, guiding principles, programs & services, permanency planning and more.
Section 2: Placements
Describes children in out-of-home care, kinship foster care, what is included in the placement packet, overcapacity of licensed foster home and more.
Section 3: Foster & Kinship Parenting
Provides a summary of foster parent rights, complaint management, communication and documentation with service team members and more.
Section 4: Shared Parenting
Section 5: Health Care
Discusses the importance of shared parenting, describes the visitation plan, HIPAA, authorization for treatment, dental care, behavioral health services and more.
Section 6: Financial Supports
Describes foster care payment procedures, adoption subsidy, income tax status and more.
Section 7: Education
Describes the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AZEIP), educational advocate and more.
Section 8: Legal Process
Understanding the roles and responsibilities, Arizona Dependency Process, describes the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and more.
Section 9: Rules, Regulations & Requirements
Describes the Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR), Life-Safety Inspections, disaster planning, Foster Parent License Renwal and more.
Section 10: Supports
Finally, a section that describes where you can find more information, discusses the DCS "warm line" for foster caregivers, Arizona Friends of Foster Care Foundation, The Q Line and more.
Appendix 1 - 3
Acronyms, Bridging The Gap Worksheet, Foster Home Payment Matrix
Appendix 4 - 5
Reasonable and Prudent Parenting (RPPS), ADA Disclosure
Disclaimer: This information is subject to change based upon the availability of new interpretations, new standards, new policies, federal and state laws, new eligibility requirements or services offered and other developments in the field. Please refer to the DCS, Mercy Care DCS CHP or other referenced web sites for the most current available information. The material provided on this document is designed for educational and information purposes only. This information is not inclusive of all terms, provisions, providers, services and/or support necessary to care for a foster child. There is no document available that will provide you with all of the information necessary to be a competent foster or kinship parent.