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 DCS in its efforts, the Kinship Care and Adoptions team at Southwest Human Development is contracted with DCS to provide home study assessments and courtesy supervision services for these families.
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 the child welfare agency from which it was requested, who ultimately determines whether placement will be made.
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) provides for the movement and safe placement of children between states and territories. The ICPC ensures that children placed out-of-state receive the same protections, support services, and financial and jurisdictional safeguards as those placed intrastate. Southwest Human Development provides birth parent, relative, adoption and foster care licensing home study assessments.
Southwest Human Development provides birth parent, relative, and significant other home study assessments for both intracounty and intercounty placements.
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 or case manager. Supervision services are continued until permanency is obtained for the child (via adoption, guardianship, etc.) and the dependency in the sending county or state is dismissed.
For ICPC Southwest Human Development provides supervision services for children who are placed in an ICPC-approved resource family (birth, kin, foster, or adoptive). Southwest Human Development also provides supervision services to youth ages 18 to 21 who voluntarily remain dependents of the court in another state or county. A youth support specialist assists the non-minor dependent in the transition from foster care to an independent, stable living environment. Services include assisting the youth in gaining and sustaining employment, formulating a support system and accessing community resources.
Southwest Human Development provides intercounty supervision services for children who are placed with foster and adoptive parents, kin, and significant others. Southwest Human Development also provides supervision services to youth residing in congregate care settings (group and therapeutic homes).
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 ICPC Administration Office or the Arizona Department of Child Safety.