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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.

2021 Priorities

Our child welfare and juvenile justice legislative priorities are to:

  1. Restore supports to grandparents and other kinship caregivers who step in and prevent children from entering foster care when parents are unable to care for their children.
  2. Help abused and neglected children placed with relatives by DCS get the financial help they need.
  3. Ensure young people who are exiting from foster care have the supports and skills they need to successfully transition to independence.

Read the latest

arizona capitol state of the state
News

State of the State

This week, the Arizona legislature begins its work for the year at a time when many Arizona children and families are struggling to meet their basic needs during this health and economic crisis. Recently released data by the U.S. Census Bureau shows 1 in 6 Arizona households with children (16%) said…

News

It’s time for Arizona to step up for kin, during the pandemic and beyond

Young children playing while wearing face masks
News

Economic Stress: COVID-19’s real threat to child safety and well-being

News

The impact of COVID-19 on youth aging out of foster care

Mohamed and his son in his grocery store, Phoenix Mini Market
News

KIDS COUNT Data Book is the only source to focus on statewide trends about Arizona’s children