Kinship Care and Adoptions

Home Assessments, Courtesy Supervision and Annual Guardianship Reports

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 others important to them. In order to support these efforts, the Kinship Care and Adoptions team at Southwest Human Development is contracted with DCS to provide home study assessments and courtesy supervision services.

Home Studies

Prior to placement, it is critical DCS determine whether potential caregivers are safe, suitable and able to meet the child’s needs. Many caregivers become the permanent family for the children, either through adoption, long-term kinship care or guardianship. Our family support specialists complete comprehensive assessments of potential caregivers and their home environment. These assessments include a recommendation for or against placement and are sent to DCS, who ultimately determines whether placement will be made. Southwest Human Development provides birth parent, relative, and significant other home study assessments for both intracounty and intercounty placements.

Supervision Services

Southwest Human Development provides intercounty supervision services for children who are placed with foster parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, kin, and significant others. Family support specialists conduct home visits and provide supportive services to the child and family to ensure the success of the placement. Home visits occur a minimum of once per month. Family support specialists provide updates and recommendations to the child’s DCS Specialist. Supervision services are continued until permanency is obtained for the child (via adoption, guardianship, etc.) and the dependency is dismissed. Southwest Human Development also provides supervision services to youth residing in congregate care settings (group and therapeutic homes) and non-minor dependents.

Annual Guardianship Reports

At times, the juvenile court appoints a legal guardian for a child who has been abused or neglected and reunification with the child’s parent has been unable to be achieved. In those cases, Arizona law requires that a home visit be made one year after the guardianship has been awarded to ensure the child is thriving and safe. Southwest Human Development provides DCS and the juvenile court with a report about child’s well-being and adjustment with families who were appointed as their guardians.

Who is Eligible?

All referrals must come from the Arizona Department of Child Safety.

Areas Served

Maricopa County.

Resources

For more information on courtesy supervision services, please contact Christie Scharrer at (602) 633-8812 or cscharrer@swhd.org.

For more information on foster care home studies, please contact Tanya Abdellatif at (602) 633-8813 or tabdella@swhd.org.

For more information on annual guardianship reports and kinship assessments, please contact Priscilla Marie Salas at (602) 633-8341 or psalas@swhd.org.

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