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Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

We promote policies that support communities and families and prevent children from entering a child welfare system—including the juvenile justice system. When system-involvement is necessary, we aim to ensure that resources are available within communities so that families and children can get the help they need where they live and avoid unnecessary separation through foster care or juvenile justice involvement.

Through policy and advocacy, we strive to ensure that the child welfare and juvenile justice systems are informed by data, utilize best practices, provide culturally relevant services, and confront inequity. Many of our efforts are directed toward families and youth who most often experience the poorest outcomes, including people of color, older youth, expectant and parenting youth, and LGBTQ+ young people. We work to advance policies that allow all children impacted by system involvement to heal, grow, and succeed.

14,000

Children in foster care in Arizona.

51%

Of foster children in Arizona are placed with grandparents and other kin. This is higher than the national rate of 32%.

4x

In Arizona, Black children are 4 times more likely than White children to enter foster care.

2023 Priorities

Our child welfare and juvenile justice legislative priorities are to:

  1. Establish a coordinated and collaborative statewide effort to review and reform Arizona’s mandated reporting system.
  2. Ensure foster children placed with kin receive the same level of support as they would get in a community foster home.
  3. Promote and protect the entitlement to participate in extended foster care for youth who age-out.
  4. Immediately end policies that leave children and families with fewer resources due to system involvement.

Read the latest

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The Importance of Federal Spending for Children

A new report released last week underscores the importance of federal investments on issues that impact children and families. It is often said that your priorities are reflected in where you spend your money, and it seems children are. An afterthought when budgets are created. The 2022 Children’s...

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2022 KidsCount Data Show AZ Children are in Crisis