Happy child playing basketball with adult

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.


Children in foster care in Arizona.


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


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

2024 Legislative Priorities

Arizona must reimagine its child welfare system as a child well-being system—a system that prevents abuse and neglect by ensuring families have the resources they need, partners with communities to co-design solutions, prioritizes family integrity, and, for those families that do need foster care, provides strong safeguards and high-quality engagement and services to promote safety, healing, and success for children and families during and after child welfare involvement:

  1. Establish a coordinated and collaborative statewide effort to meaningfully shift resources from deep-end system involvement to primary prevention, including overuse of TANF to fund child welfare and underuse of TANF to support families in financial distress.
  2. Increase access to services and supports for kinship families, including those who are not formally involved with the child welfare system, and ensure kinship families who are system-involved receive the same level of support provided to community foster homes.
  3. Reduce Arizona’s over-reliance on congregate care placements and prioritize family based settings for children.
  4. End policies that leave children and families with fewer resources due to system involvement, such as placing parents on the central child abuse and neglect registry, which limits their employment opportunities, when there is no finding of risk to a child.

Read the latest

Arizona’s Group Home Problem – An Opportunity Missed

Click here to watch Fostering Advocates Arizona board member, Jacob Holley, share his lived experience in group homes. Arizona has a deep group home problem, and it is time that serious steps are taken to address it: the Department of Child Safety’s (DCS’s) massive over-reliance on harmful...


SB 1458: Because Children Thrive in Families, Not Institutions


Support SB 1458 to ensure young foster children are placed with families, not group homes.


ON THURSDAY: How to Support LGBTQIA+ Youth in Arizona's Child Welfare System


CAA heard at Legislative Hearing on Department of Child Safety