The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) can confirm that we removed the children from the home of Machelle Hackney on March 14, 2019.
While we cannot comment or release information on specific aspects of this case due to confidentiality laws, we can comment in general on how DCS licenses its foster placements.
The Department requires all potential foster placements undergo a thorough vetting process before acquiring a license.
This process includes full background checks, a central registry check for prior DCS history, a fingerprint clearance card issued from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, home inspections, reference checks, and licensing classes through a provider agency.
Licensed foster placements also receive quarterly home visits from their licensing agencies in addition to monthly DCS visits.
As an added oversight, the court must approve out-of-home placements. Also through the court, foster placements are scrutinized by the biological parents’ attorneys, the children’s attorneys, the Guardian Ad Litem, which is an attorney who works in the best interest of the children, the Foster Care Review Board, and the judge.
Once parental rights are severed, the foster parents begin the adoption process.
After an adoption is approved by the court, DCS is no longer involved with the family.
Despite all of these safeguards, people are sometimes able to avoid detection, especially if a person has no prior criminal or child abuse history.
We investigate all reports of abuse and neglect and work with law enforcement agencies to ensure those who abuse and neglect children are brought to justice. We would also like to mention that while a small number of people with bad intentions do manage to make it past the rigorous licensing and court process, the vast majority of Arizona foster parents are kind, charitable people and we appreciate their dedication to Arizona’s most vulnerable children.