Arizona Judicial Branch

Published Resources

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.


Recommended Reading

Aging Out - Checklist for Young Adults 
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014
A very helpful checklist designed to assist youth transitioning to adulthood.

Child and Family Law Meets Brain Science (video link)
NCJFCJ, July 21, 2014
In response to an increasing awareness of brain science, judges and the legal community should strive to focus law and policy to build the capacity of caregivers and the communities in which children grow and learn.

Interviewing the Child Client 
American Bar Association Production posted to YouTube
This video, produced by the American Bar Association, discusses approaches and successful techniques to use when interviewing a child client. 

New Tools for Judges on Engaging Fathers in Child Welfare Cases
Used with Permission from Judge Len Edwards (ret.)

Judge Len Edwards (ret.) produced four videos that provide practical guidance to judges on locating and involving fathers in child welfare cases.   

      Video 1: Identifying/Locating the Father

      Video 2: Establishing Paternity

      Video 3: Explaining Father's Rights & Responsibilities

      Video 4: Engaging Fathers

One Family, Five Courts, One Judge: Consolidating Cases in Non-Unified Family Courts 
Juvenile and Family Justice Today, Fall 2010
According to my calendar, Jack Jones v. Diane Jones was a routine divorce case with children.  One of twenty cases on my calendar that day, it was set for 15 minutes.  Because neither party was represented by counsel, I started the hearing by setting the stage and framing the issues.  I explained that in order to get to the information I needed to complete the dissolution of their marriage, I would ask questions of each of them, and presumably, when the hearing was over, they would be divorced.

Epic Ohana, Inc., February 2013

Preparing and Supporting Foster Parents Who Adopt 
Child Welfare Information Gateway, January 2013

Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation: A Training Tool For EMS Providers 
Arizona State University School of Social Work, April 2015

Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities  

Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities – Final Report, 2016