Arizona Judicial Branch


SAFE Initiative


The Dependency Process


More than 5 million U.S. children have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their lives. The incarceration of a parent can have as much impact on a child’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence. But while states spend heavily on corrections, few resources exist to support those left behind. A Shared Sentence offers commonsense proposals to address the increased poverty and stress that children of incarcerated parents experience.

  • Certified Child Welfare Law Specialists – A First for Arizona

Fourteen Arizona attorneys were recently certified as Child Welfare Law Specialists.  Offered by the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) and recognized by the State Bar of Arizona, this certification acknowledges their significant experience and knowledge of the child welfare process. Court Improvement is proud to support these attorneys as they raise the bar for child welfare representation! 



Behavioral Health

This 5-minute video, narrated by NCJFCJ President Judge Peggy Walker, depicts a call to action for the legal community to learn as much as possible about brain science to make sure our law and policy are aligned with the focus on the latest information for building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children's lifelong learning, health, and behavior.



Immigration Issues

•  Immigration in the Child Welfare System - Case Studies 

Of the 70 million children under age 18 in the United States, 26% (18.2 million) live with at least one immigrant parent. Many of the U.S. and foreign-born children live in families with members who have mixed status...

•  Separated and Transnational Families - Toolkit for Child Welfare Cases  

Transnational families are those with close members and meaningful ties in at least two countries. The unified goal was to initiate and improve communications and to develop a tool kit to provide judges, attorneys and DCS case workers in Arizona detailed information on how best to address child welfare cases that involve a transnational family.

•  Practical Guidance for the Juvenile Dependency Process Related to Parents Detained by ICE

Immigrant parents and their children involved in both child welfare and immigration proceedings are subject to timelines and requirements imposed by separate and sometimes disparate systems. This guidance document is provided to help practitioners better assist parents who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is intended to promote expedited and enhanced communication between parents detained by ICE and their CPS team, juvenile court personnel, and their children in foster care.