"What the wisest parent would want for its child, this is what the community should desire for all its children." (John Dewey)
In Arizona during the last reporting period of Apr. 1, 2016 - Sept. 30, 2016 there were 24,787 calls to the Child Abuse Hotline which met statutory criteria for a DCS report. The calls inform DCS of the potential abuse or neglect of a child or children.(DCS Semi-Annual Report, 12/16)
DCS investigates these calls to determine whether the children can safely remain in the home, whether services to the family can be offered, and/or whether the children need to be removed from the home to keep them safe.
As of September 30, 2016 there were 17,984 Arizona children in out-of-home care - in relative placement, foster homes, group homes, shelters or residential treatment centers. This is a 4.9% decrease from the prior reporting period. (DCS Semi-Annual Report, 12/16)
During a six month period of time (Apr. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2016) 3,386 children exited the system to family reunification (increase of 8.8%*), 1,936 children exited to adoption (increase of 12.0%*) and 356 children exited to guardianship (increase of 1.0%*). *Compared to last reporting period.(DCS Semi-Annual Report, 12/16)
African American children represent 5.0% of population yet 15.4% are in out-of-home care. Caucasian children represent 41% of population and 35.1% are in out-of-home care. Latino children represent 43% of population and 35.4% are in out-of-home care. (2016 Kids Count Data Center & DCS Semi-Annual Report, 12/16)
There are currently 1,079 CASA Volunteers in Arizona serving 1,873 dependent children. Only 1 out of 8 foster children in Arizona has a CASA Volunteer. The need for more CASA Volunteers is critical.
Reform is needed to prevent the large number of children in care as well as serving children in care. Disproportionality of children in care needs to be addressed. Diversity and inclusiveness education must be an integral part of this effort.
"Arizona’s Invisible Achievement Gap"
"Child Welfare Reporting Requirements Semi-Annual Report for the period of April 1, 2016 through September 20, 2016"