Empowering Christ-followers to walk alongside those whose lives have been impacted by the foster care crisis.
Steps to Foster or Adopt from Foster Care >>
Orientation is the 1st step toward becoming a foster parent or adopting from the foster care system.
At orientation, you will get an overview of the AZ state foster system and have an opportunity to ask questions of experienced foster/adoptive parents and foster agency professionals.
To provide Orientation, we partner with AZ1.27, a church movement to recruit foster families.
For upcoming Orientation dates and registration, visit the AZ1.27 Event Calendar.
Basic Training is the 2nd recommended step toward becoming a foster parent or
adopting from the foster system.
At Basic Training prospective foster and adoptive parents will discuss and gain insight on the following topics:
- Foster care and adoption from a ministry perspective
- The joys and challenges of caring for kids with trauma
- Practical tips for choosing an agency and developing a support team
Basic Training is not state mandated, but we highly recommend this training.
To provide Basic Training, we partner with AZ1.27, a church movement to recruit foster families.
For upcoming Basic Training dates, visit the AZ1.27 Event Calendar.
Take the time to choose the agency that is right for you. Not only will they license you, they will continue to play a vital role in your success as a foster parent after licensure. Although all agencies must follow the State's licensing regulations and laws, some add unique regulations and guidelines.
We recommend that you speak with existing foster/adoptive parents to learn from their experiences with their agency.
One of the best places to meet foster/adoptive parents is at our Mission Foster Parents' Community.
Find agencies contracted with the state of Arizona here. Be sure to choose the county in which you live.
You cannot do this journey alone. We strongly recommend that you identify a team of 4-10 people who will actively support you.
Once you've formed your team, gather them for a video training, to help define roles and clarify expectations. For more information on wrap-around teams and access to the training video, visit the AZ1.27 Resources page.
Foster Parent College is the 5th step toward becoming a foster parent or adopting from the foster system.
This training class is required of all foster and adoptive parents. The class will inform prospective parents on topics such as: shared parenting, parenting children with a trauma-background, the legal process in foster care/adoption, requirements of foster/adoptive parents, and more.
We encourage MISSION Foster families to attend a PS-MAPP class at MISSION or another East Valley AZ 1.27 church because it provides opportunities to create community with other foster and adoptive families who have similar perspectives towards the ministry of foster/adoption.
IMPORTANT: Prior to attending Foster Parent College, you must have completed the following steps:
- Attend Orientation
- Select an agency
- Complete intake appointment with agency
- Submit fingerprint clearance card to agency
Your Life Safety Inspection and all background checks are handled through your Licensing Agency.
These State-mandated checks will occur before, throughout and after PS-MAPP classes.
Our Foster & Adoptive Parent's Community is open to all foster/adoptive parents or prospective foster/adoptive parents. You will have a chance to meet and develop relationships with other foster/adoptive parents, encourage one another and share ideas. In addition, five times per year, training is provided to help you meet licensure requirements.
For more information please, >>click here.
Resources and Links
- Helen’s Hope Chest: Helen’s Hope Chest helps foster children with their basic needs, such as providing quality clothes, school supplies, books, bedding. Volunteers help organize all the donations that come into the facility.
- Foster Care Review Board: These volunteer panels regularly review each foster child's case and advise the court on progress being made.
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): Volunteers are judge-appointed to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who are victims of parental abuse and neglect.
- Arizona Helping Hands: assists foster families provide safe, loving environments for children in Arizona's Department of Child Safety system with programs that provide many of the basic needs for these boys and girls. There are several opportunities to volunteer.
- Arizonans for Children Mentors: Adults are matched with a child in the foster care system who has requested a mentor.
- Children's Medical & Dental Program (CMDP) is the medical & dental insurance plan in which all children in foster care are enrolled. It can take several weeks for the child's ID card to arrive, but foster parents can use the Notice To Provider form when taking the child to appointments. DCS asks foster parents to take all new placements to see a doctor/dentist within one month of being placed in the home. The selected doctor/dentist must be approved to take CMDP, and you should contact CMDP to inform them of the child's preferred care provider.
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is a program for children up to age five. They provide all foster families, regardless of income, with checks that can be used at the grocery store for formula or food. The checks specify what can be bought. Foster parents must make an appointment with a WIC office. They must bring the child and the child's Notice To Provider form to the appointment.
- College Tuition Help for Foster Youth : Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program - According to state law, Arizona foster children are eligible to receive free tuition at state schools. Foster children enrolled in higher education are also eligible to receive assistance with living expenses while they are in school.
- Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation provides funding for children in foster care to participate in extracurricular, social, athletic and educational activities.
- Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents serves foster, adoptive and kinship families as they care for Arizona's most vulnerable children. Their strategy is to empower foster, adoptive and kinship families with information, connect them to each other, and be heard as a voice of advocacy for continuous improvements in the State's child welfare system.
- Helen's Hope Chest helps children in foster care with their basic needs such as clothing, school supplies, books, and toys. HHC gives children an experience similar to shopping in a consignment store. Appointments are required; no membership fee is required.
- Arizona Helping Hands provides programs to meet many of the basic needs for boys and girls in the Arizona Department of Child Safety system. This includes Birthday Dreams (personalized birthday packages) , Basic Needs (beds or cribs, linens, diapers, clothing), Holiday Toy Drive (toys and books), Back to School (backpacks filled with school supplies), and Dream Kits (personal care items like shampoo, body wash/soap, toothbrush and paste, and brush/comb).
- Jose's Closet offers foster and adoptive parents a place where they can obtain clothes and other items for their children. It also offers a place where foster and adoptive parents can exchange clothes, cribs, strollers, toys and other equipment. $40 annual membership fee and volunteer hours required.
- Pool Fence Assistance : This program through the United Phoenix Firefighters Association offers families the opportunity to apply to receive a pool fence free of charge if families reside within Maricopa County. Income is taken into account in consideration of granting the application, families must have a child 6 years of age or younger for whom they are providing care, and must own the home.
- Empowered to Connect: Founded by Karyn Purvis, this organization of foster/adoptive parents and professionals desires to help foster/adoptive parents, ministry leaders, and professionals connect with children who come from difficult backgrounds to help them heal.
- Arizona Serves: This site offers a lot of information regarding Arizona foster care statistics, resources, videos and ideas on volunteering.
- Adopt US Kids provides tools and technical assistance to support states, tribes and territories in their efforts to connect children in foster care with families interested in adopting them.
- Arizona's Children's Heart Gallery: You can learn more about specific children currently available for adoption within the state of Arizona.
- The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis (Book)
- Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge
- Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family: Real-Life Solutions to Common Challenges by David Sanford