PHOENIX (Tuesday, December 1, 2015) - The Arizona Department of Child Safety has submitted its agency rules package to the Arizona Secretary of State.
When DCS was created in May of 2014, state lawmakers included in the enacting legislation for the agency - previously a part of the Department of Economic Security – an exemption from certain rulemaking requirements to draft its own set of rules and submit that package to the Secretary of State by November 28, 2015.
Initially, public comment was open for 30 days to accept comment on all rules. Two public hearings were held on each of the rule packages during the public comment period, one in Phoenix and one in Tucson, where the Department accepted oral and written comments. The Department also accepted written comments via an online survey, e-mail, and mail.
As part of this comprehensive process DCS held five additional meetings with stakeholders from September through November 2015 to obtain greater clarification and stakeholder input on the draft rules.
"In the eleventh hour of this process, stakeholder concerns rightfully brought us pause," said DCS Director Greg McKay. "We stopped the process, reengaged voices that matter, and sought consensus through a true spirit of collaboration."
The rules cover all aspects of the department’s operation to include: release of department information, the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP), appeals and hearings procedures, fingerprinting, substantiation of reports findings, all of which became effective as of November 30.
The department filed rules for the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC), which will take effect January 2, 2016.
Department adoption services, adoption entity services, adoption subsidy, independent living/transitional independent living, adoption agency licensing, life safety inspections, and foster home licensing rules were filed on November 25 and centralized intake hotline and investigations were filed Friday, November 27. These rules will take effect 60 days after filing.
Director McKay concluded, "I deeply appreciate the hard work of DCS staff and stakeholders to get it right for the children and families of Arizona. We are truly better together."