Foster Care & Adoption
HRT was the first agency to provide therapeutic foster care services in 1981 when the State began contracting out foster care licensing and monitoring. Today, our Foster Care Support Program licenses all levels of foster care including Regular, Medically Complex, Therapeutic, Respite Care, and Child Developmental Homes. HRT‘s main office for Foster Care is located in Phoenix, AZ with staff located in Yuma, Mohave, Coconino, Yavapai, and Apache counties.
There are over 18,000 children in foster care in Arizona. While nearly half are placed with relatives, over 5,000 foster families are needed every day. Families for sibling groups and teens are always in high demand but families for children of all ages are needed.
HRT’s desire is to be a family of families; big enough to meet the need for foster homes but small enough to know our families individually. We are constantly seeking new foster families to care for the hundreds of children coming into foster care every month. We’ve enjoyed low turnover among our staff and take pride in knowing our families well. Together we build families and strengthen the lives of Arizona’s children and families.
Scroll down for FAQ’s about Foster Care and Adoption.
What is foster care?
Foster care is the temporary placement of children who, due to abuse and neglect, have been removed from their parent(s) by the Department of Child Safety (DCS). Foster parents provide care and supervision while the family works toward living together again.
Is there really a need for foster parenting?
Yes, Arizona has an unprecedented number of children in foster care reaching over 19,000 as of March 2016. Nearly 3,000 youth are residing in shelters and group homes due to a shortage of foster families.
What different types of foster parenting does HRT offer?
Regular Foster Care
Regular foster care, or a Family Foster Home, is general foster care. Children are placed in foster families when they are removed from their home and cared for until they can return home or be adopted.
Kinship Foster Care Kinship foster care is a license for families in which DCS has placed relative children such as grandchildren, nieces or nephews, etc. These families are not expected to care for other children in foster care. HRT is committed to assisting kinship families with the licensing process and providing them with the necessary supports needed to care for family members.
Respite foster families care for children for short periods of time (i.e., a few days to a week) while their regular foster family is unable to care for them. Family Foster Homes can have 1or 2 beds reserved for respite care.
Medically Complex trained foster families provide care for children who have chronic physical, developmental, or medical conditions. A child must meet specific criteria to qualify as Medically Complex.
Medically Complex foster families receive 18 hours of additional pre-service training and are required to attend 24 hours of training every 2 years for renewal.
Therapeutic Foster Care
Therapeutic foster homes provide care for children with significant behavioral and mental health concerns. The goal is work with youth on specific behavioral goals to help them stabilize and transition to Family Foster Homes.
Therapeutic Providers receive 18 hours of additional pre-service training and are required to attend 24 hours of training every year for renewal.
Is there a difference in licensing/eligibility for Kinship Foster Care?
The licensing process is the same for Kinship Foster Care and Regular Foster Care. There are some waivers available for non-safety licensing rules. The license is restricted to the children currently placed in the home.
What makes a good foster parent?
All types of people and families can make good foster parents. Each individual has different strengths and a drive to help others. Foster parents must be patient, flexible, and have a concern for children who are going through a difficult time. Additionally, we need people who genuinely care about children, and are willing to learn new skills, and want to improve a child’s life.
What are the rewards of being a foster parent?
The greatest reward is changing a child’s life and future. You are providing a supportive and stable family for children while they cannot live with their biological families. Foster parenting is a challenging experience with lifelong benefits – helping children heal from trauma and break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
What are the challenges of being a foster parent?
Children from all different ethnic and racial backgrounds come into the foster care system. Children have typically been separated from their biological families due to abuse or neglect. These children also suffer from trauma and loss in varying degrees.
How are Native American children served?
HRT serves children from sovereign tribes throughout Arizona, including the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Navajo, Gila River, White Mountain Apache and the Hopi Tribe.
Foster families need to be willing to incorporate Native American culture into their home. Typically, families caring for Native American children are expected to transport to visits, medical appointments, or counseling sessions on the Reservation. A slightly higher reimbursement rate is offered to account for the additional transportation and cultural expectations. While reunification is the primary goal for all children, many Native American children will need long-term foster families.
HRT also serves Native American children with therapeutic needs through our Therapeutic Foster Care program.
Is every child eventually reunited with his or her biological family?
Sadly, reunification is not always possible. Sometimes, families are not able to overcome the circumstances that caused their children to be unsafe. In such cases, the goal is to find a permanent home for the child through adoption or guardianship.
Do I have to have contact with the biological parents of my foster child?
Most children have regularly scheduled visits with their biological parents as a part of their reunification plan. Foster parents may have contact through letters, phone calls, or meeting together as appropriate. Foster parents’ addresses and phone numbers are kept confidential by HRT and DCS.
What is an HRT Licensing Worker?
An Initial Licensing Worker will assist you with the licensing process. Once you are a licensed foster parent you will be assigned an Ongoing Licensing Worker. Your Licensing worker is there to provide you with support and advocacy and help you stay in compliance with the rules.
Will my HRT Licensing Worker visit my home?
Yes, during the licensing process your Licensing Worker will visit your home 3-4 times. Once you are licensed, your HRT Licensing Worker will visit your home monthly, at minimum.
What is the difference between my HRT Licensing Worker and a DCS Case Manager?
An HRT Licensing Worker is there to support you as a foster parent and help you maintain your license. A DCS Case Manager is employed by the Department of Child Safety and is the legal guardian of the children. They also provide case management to the biological family.
What type of ongoing support does HRT provide?
HRT provides ongoing support including:
- 24 hours on-call support by a Licensing Worker
- Attendance at Child-Family Team meetings, court hearings, etc. with you
- Over 75 hours of advanced training to choose from
- Master’s Level Therapists on staff to support families
How long will a foster child live with me?
Foster care is temporary. The length of time a child stays in foster care depends on how long it takes their family to resolve the issues that caused them to be unsafe. Children may be in your home a few days or several years before they can return home or be adopted.
Do I get to pick the type of child I want to work with?
We will assist you with determining the age range and gender of children your family can best care for during the licensing process.
Is there a need for people to take sibling groups?
Yes, we try to keep sibling groups together as they are an important means of support for each other.
Do foster parents receive financial assistance?
Does HRT provide ongoing training?
Yes, we offer at least 6 hours of advanced training every month.
What Adoption Services do you provide?
HRT provides Adoption Certification for families wanting to adopt a child through the foster care system in Arizona.
Is there a fee?
HRT does not charge to complete an adoption certification to adopt children from foster care in Arizona.
What are the requirements to be certified to adopt?
To become certified to adopt, you must be at least 18 years old and have sufficient income to support your household expense. Adoptive families and their adult household members must pass a background check and be able to obtain a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card. You must also complete PS-MAPP training as well as complete a variety of documents and interviews for your home study.
What is the difference between foster care and adoption?
Foster care is the temporary placement of a child with a foster family. Children may be in a foster home a few days or several years until permanency can be accomplished. Many foster parents choose to adopt the child or children they are fostering if they are unable to return to their parents. Adoption is the permanent placement of a child with a family after the biological parents’ rights have been severed. The adoptive parents assume all the legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent.
Can I do both foster care and adoption?
Many foster parents go on to adopt if the child’s case plan changes to adoption. Foster families can adopt without an adoption certification. If you are interested in fostering and having an open adoption certification for other children in Arizona’s foster care system, please contact us to discuss the requirements.
Do I receive reimbursement for adoption?
There is no set monthly reimbursement for adoption although the State does provide Adoption Subsidy to offset the cost of adopting a special needs child. This may be a monthly reimbursement or money for specific needs of the child.
How do I start?
You may call our Recruitment Coordinator to learn if you qualify and how to get started in the process. You can reach our Recruitment Coordinator at 602-433-1344 or 888-433-1344.