Being a child in foster care is hard enough but the challenge is taken to a new level when a child is diagnosed with a developmental disability. These children commonly experience functional limitations in performing daily activities like self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, and self-direction.

The state has prepared a way for foster parents providing care for these special kids to get an extra level of support and resources by becoming a licensed Child Development Home. Child Development Homes (commonly referred to as a DDD home) are licensed foster homes with a caretaker at home full-time to provide care, supervision and support to children ages 0 to 18, who are diagnosed with an intellectual disability, epilepsy, autism or cerebral palsy and meet the criteria set by the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Depending on the child, Child Development Homes are given extra services which could include specialized therapies and home and community based services for the children. Child Crisis Arizona has a DDD Coordinator on staff to help ensure a good relationship between the foster home and the service providers.

Caretakers in these homes go through the same foster care licensing process other foster parents go through but take additional training courses that will prepare them for the health and behavior challenges these special children may face.

“I think becoming licensed for this population is similar to becoming licensed as a regular foster parent, in that you need to have a heart for children and a desire to help, but it’s a higher level of care you’re providing,” said Sabrina Berry, DDD Coordinator for Child Crisis Arizona. “With that higher level of care you’re given a higher level of support from the DDD and your agency.”

Beyond the additional training requirements and having one caretaker at home full time there are no added stipulations to becoming a DDD home. You can be single or married and you don’t have to own your home.
Child Crisis Arizona is prepared to train and support families interested in providing care to children with developmental disabilities. The process starts with an agency meet and greet.

Now is a great time to start your foster care journey! Email Lisa.simmons@childcrisisaz.org or call 480-321-8944 for more information.