Kinship Assessments and Annual Guardianship Reports

Ensuring vulnerable children have safe and loving homes


Kinship Assessments

Children who have been abused or neglected often must be removed from their homes and placed in the care and custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). Arizona recognizes and emphasizes the importance and benefits of these children being able to live with relatives or other persons important to them. Before being placed, it is critical that DCS determine whether the relatives are safe and healthy choices for providing care for these children.


In order to make that determination, DCS has contracted with Southwest Human Development since 2001 to complete Kinship Home and Family Assessments. After the family is interviewed and references have been checked, comprehensive reports are written and sent to DCS with a recommendation for or against placement of the children.


Southwest Human Development is the sole provider of this service for DCS in all of Maricopa, Yuma, La Paz and Pinal Counties. Court-ready reports are completed in a timely fashion allowing children to be more quickly placed in a loving, safe, and familiar environment as quickly as possible. Many of these placements become the permanent family for the children, either through adoption, long-term kinship care or guardianship.


Annual Guardianship Reports

At times, the juvenile court appoints a legal guardian for a child who have been abused or neglected. In those cases, Arizona law requires that a home visit be made one year after the guardianship has been awarded to ensure the children are thriving and safe.


DCS contracts with Southwest Human Development for these annual reports. The guardians and the children are interviewed in their homes and a comprehensive report is sent to the juvenile court with a recommendation for or against continuing the guardianship.



All referrals for these services are made by the Arizona Department of Child Safety.


For more information, please contact Priscilla Marie Salas, MSW, at (602) 633-8341 or

Helping Arizona Children & Families

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