Arizona's Juvenile Justice Title IV-E Program is a part of the Federal Foster Care program administered by the State's Department of Child of Safety (DCS) and aimed at low income children. This entitlement-based program is authorized under the Social Security Act of 1936, as amended and referred to as the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) in 1997. Arizona's Title IV-E program operates in accordance with Title IV-B requirements related to the promotion of safe and stable families. Juvenile probation case plans contain goals and objectives focused on family reunification.
DCS is responsible for the development and oversight of the State Title IV-E Plan. AOC coordinates with DCS through an Inter-Agency Service Agreement (ISA) for the development and implementation of federal/state policy issues, billing and reimbursement.
The AOC manages the Title IV-E program through Service Agreements and Operational Plans mutually developed and approved by the AOC and the participating juvenile probation departments. The AOC participates in regularly-scheduled federal audits.
For Title IV-E to be considered, the following criteria must be met:
- A Court finds in an initial court order that remaining in the home would have been "contrary to the welfare of the child's best interests";
- A Court finds in a second court order that "reasonable efforts" were made to prevent removal of the juvenile from the home;
- The youth be an adjudicated delinquent;
- The youth be placed in an out-of-home care facility or foster home licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Department of Child Safety licensing organizations;
- The youth meet citizenship requirements;
- The youth must have been removed from the home or a specified relative;
- The family meet AFDC eligibility - financial need and deprivation factors.
Effective October 1, 2021, there will be changes to the Title IV-E current requirements. The Families First Prevention Services Act was passed with a focus on prevention community-based services. AOC is collaborating with DCS for the implementation of the requirements.