PRIMER: Caring For Our Most Vulnerable

News Release

May 16, 2019

May is Arizona Foster Care Awareness Month, a month set aside to acknowledge the foster, adoptive and kinship parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, teachers, care providers, advocates and many more who serve Arizona’s youth.

Since Governor Ducey took office, Arizona has prioritized providing safe, permanent homes for Arizona foster children. The child-welfare program is continuously improving to best serve Arizona’s most vulnerable.

Here are a few of the successes happening at the Arizona Department of Child Safety →  

  • Out-of-Home Care Reduction. In just over three years, Arizona moved from last place to first place in foster care reduction. From a high of over 19,000 children in 2016, Arizona reduced its number of children in out-of-home care to 13,841 in January 2019, a 25 percent decrease.
  • Fast-tracking Abuse Reporting. Arizona’s Child Abuse Hotline on-hold times have decreased from 12 minutes in February 2014 to 31 seconds today.
  • Reducing Caseworker Workloads. The Department of Child Safety has reduced the caseload of its caseworkers by approximately 70 percent, resulting in an average caseload of 13 cases. 
  • Supporting Families. In 2017, Arizona expanded the kinship care stipend, resulting in 1,900 more families and loved ones, an increase of 270 percent, caring for children in uncertain circumstances.
  • Receiving National Recognition. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office presented its Justice for All Award to Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay in April 2018 for his life-long dedication to serving Arizona children. Director McKay also received Childhelp’s Voice of Children Award in May 2018 for his extensive work in protecting Arizona’s children from abuse and neglect.