There are more than 14,000 children in foster care in Arizona spanning the ages of 0 to 18. With that many children in need of a safe home, there is a great need for more foster and adoptive homes as well.

Not every child is a perfect fit for every family. That is why the requirements to become a foster or adoptive home can seem vague. There is a great need for all types of families to consider opening up their home.

Let’s take a deeper look at what exactly are the requirements to become a foster or adoptive home:

  • Must be age 21 or older for foster care, 18 or older for adoption. There is a minimum age to foster or adopt. There is NOT a maximum age. Anyone who feels like they have what it takes to raise a child is welcome.
  • Must be financially stable. Your licensing specialist will ask you to fill out a budget for your home and will ask to see proof of income. The state of Arizona does provide room and board reimbursements for families who become licensed to foster or adopt, but families must show they can pay all their bills without the state’s assistance. There is no minimum income necessary to foster or adopt. As long as you can provide stability and meet basic needs you can qualify.
  • Must be a United States citizen and Arizona resident. This is necessary to ensure proper background checks are done. There is always a need for bi-lingual foster and adoptive parents.
  • Obtain a physician’s statement verifying your emotional and physical health. It’s no secret that children have a lot of energy and children in the foster care system may have trouble communicating how they feel about the life-changing situation they are in. If you have love to give and the physical ability to care for a child, you are needed.
  • Applicants must provide at least five references. These can be personal, professional or a combination of both.
  • Complete five weeks of Foster Parent Training College. This training helps potential foster/adoptive parents understand foster and adoptive children’s needs and introduce parents to the child welfare system.
  • Complete a fingerprint and criminal background check. Be open and honest about your history and don’t be afraid to discuss your situation with a licensing specialist.
  • Provide documentation including but not limited to: CPR/First Aid training, auto insurance and registration, canine rabies vaccine and county license, marriage license, divorce decree, birth certificate, military discharge, bankruptcy discharge, child support verification, current immunization records for all children in the home.
  • Complete an Arizona Department of Economic Security home inspection. The inspection is the most nerve-wracking part of the process for most families but in reality it takes less than a half hour. The inspector will make sure all medications and potentially dangerous cleaning supplies are locked up and out of reach of small hands. Working smoke detectors should be in each room and you’ll need to have a fire extinguisher in the home. You also need a first aid kit and an emergency plan posted on a wall.

At Child Crisis Arizona we believe every child matters and deserves a family where they can feel comfortable. We work with both single and two-parent families and welcome any individual regardless of race, color, religious beliefs, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to consider foster care or adoption.

November is National Adoption Month. There are children in the system RIGHT NOW who need your unique experience. If you’re interested in learning more about the process to become licensed please complete the online Foster Care & Adoption Inquiry form. For questions please call (602) 385-7526 or email adoption.foster@childcrisisaz.org