DCS moves to strengthen foster family relationships
Phoenix (July 30, 2019)-
In the past, DCS foster licensing contracts focused on the minutiae of foster licensing and regulations.
However, the needs of Arizona’s children in care and foster families are constantly evolving, which means the Department must also evolve.
“Previously, we tailored our licensing agency contracts to emphasize rules and regulations,” said DCS Deputy Director Mike Faust. “Today, we have shifted our focus to the support and growth of foster families.”
The new contract’s goal is to bolster the partnership between DCS and licensing agencies so families have the supports they need to successfully foster or adopt children in care.
Under the new contract, the licensing agency will become an extension of DCS case management and the two entities will work in partnership to recruit, retain and enhance the knowledge-base and skills of kinship, foster and adoptive families.
Requirements of the new contract include:
Helping build relationships between children and their biological families.
Creating a Family Support Plan that is developed with the foster family to assist in their growth and journey through foster care.
Increasing support for families who foster or adopt older children and teenagers with higher needs.
Emphasizing safe sleep for newborns.
Overall, licensing agencies will help foster families navigate the child welfare system before, during and after they have children placed in their homes. The agencies will also collaborate with the Department on the needs of families to enhance the growth and supports needed for successful fostering experiences.
In addition, DCS will strengthen its ties to other parties that have a vested interest in child reunification and permanency such as the Courts, Court Appoint Special Advocates, Regional Behavioral Health Authorities and more.