All parties are highly encouraged to openly discuss issues and resolve complaints with their Department of Child Safety (DCS) case manager and to proceed to supervisors or management staff only when resolution has not been reached. When parents disagree with the case manager, they should express their concerns either directly to the case manager, with the chain of command of their case manager or with their lawyer. Parents also may speak with the DCS supervisor and if an agreement still cannot be reached, the assistant program manager or the regional program manager may also assist with problem resolution.
DCS Family Advocate (1-877-527-0765 or 602-364-0777)
The DCS Family Advocate receives and responds to complaints made by persons who have an open or closed Department of Child Safety (DCS) case, as well as their family members or interested parties. A complaint is a written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction about services, actions or lack of actions or manner of treatment by the DCS staff affecting an individual client.
In discussion with the complainant, the Family Advocate reviews the complaint, then in conjunction with the appropriate staff, either the case manager, supervisor or district management seeks to resolve the complaint. The complainant is informed of the outcome of the consultation with staff. The Family Advocate will, upon request, mail a Client Grievance form and assist with filling out the form.
The Family Advocate is available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1-877-527-0765 or 602-364-0777. All calls to the Family Advocate are returned as soon as possible.
- The Family Advocate does not provide legal advice.
- The Family Advocate does not give information about a specific child or case which is regarded as confidential.
Client Complaints (Grievances)
A complaint (or grievance) is a written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction about services, actions or lack of actions or manner of treatment by the Arizona Department of Child Safety or its staff affecting an individual client. Disagreements sometimes arise during the course of Department of Child Safety (DCS) intervention with a family and with providers of services. The department has ways to address these disagreements and wants you to know about them. Disagreements covered by the Client Grievance process involve many areas associated with provision of services and foster care.
The process of resolving disagreements between you and the department consists of a series of possible steps, and the goal is to address disagreements at the lowest possible level among the people most familiar with the situation. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a step, you may choose to elevate the problem to the next highest step. There are certain subjects which the Client Grievance Process does NOT deal with:
- Challenges to findings of a DCS investigation
- Mediation outcomes
- Issues previously grieved with no new circumstances
- Court orders and/or information provided to the court
- Complaints previously or currently under review by the Office of the Ombudsman Citizens Aide
- Results of an evaluation (psychological, psychiatric, substance abuse)
- Removal of children from a parent, guardian or custodian
- Denial of revocation of a license or certification
- Issues of contract providers if Procurement Code applies
If your complaint has to do with one of the issues listed above, DO NOT start the Client Grievance Process. If you are unsure if your complaint falls under one of these categories, please do not hesitate to contact the Family Advocacy Office at 1-877-527-0765 or 602-364-0777.
Resource Family Issues -Foster Care and Adoptive Family Liaison
The Resource Family Liaison provides program specific information to constituents throughout the state having concerns or issues pertaining to foster parent licensure, adoption certification, private and public contracted partnerships for home recruitment, study and supervision and inquiries from the Legislature and Governor’s Office. When issues and concerns arise, the Resource Family Liaison researches (and facilitates communication) issues and concerns from various sources in a timely, accurate and professional manner by collaborating with District Program Managers, Central Office Managers and Administrators and others. All issues and concerns and resolutions are tracked in the Resource Family Advocate database. The Resource Family Liaison conducts follow-up with families who express an interest in becoming a resource parent to ensure they are proceeding through the process in a timely manner and identifies strategies to re-engage resource parents who chose to drop-out of the licensing or certification process and those who chose not to renew their foster care license for reasons other than adoption or relocation. The Resource Family Liaison also develops and maintains relationships with foster parent and adoptive parent advocacy and support groups throughout Arizona. For more information, please contact Resource Family Advocate, 1789 W. Jefferson Ave., SC 940A, Phoenix, Arizona 85007, (602) 542-0210, FAX (602) 542-3330.