Child Crisis Arizona desperately needs foster families

Since there are no open beds in licensed foster homes, there is a great need for families to “open their hearts” and homes to foster children.

During the last two months, the situation has become dire as Child Crisis Arizona reports there were two open beds in the nearly 200 homes currently licensed with the agency, according to a press release.

“We are one of the larger licensing agencies in Maricopa County,” said CEO Child Crisis Arizona Torrie Taj in a prepared statement.

“We usually see a steady flow of new families coming in once experienced foster families decide it is time to close their license. But recently we’ve seen that flow of new families decrease and now as children are coming into the system we are unable to assist them. We have no homes for any more children.”

Since 2016, there has been an emphasis on family preservation and the number of children in the state’s foster care system has decreased. However, the heightened need for caring foster homes remains as there are more than 13,000 children in the Arizona foster care system.

“There has never been enough foster homes in Maricopa County to address the need,” Ms. Taj said. “We need to do more to raise awareness that there are children in foster care who want and need a healthy family to care for them.”

When there are no spaces available in other family member’s homes (kinship) or licensed foster homes the Department of Child Safety sends children to emergency placement shelters/group homes like the one operated by Child Crisis Arizona, the release said.

The process to become licensed takes about six months and includes background checks, an interview, a home inspection and 30 hours of training. A licensing worker helps every step of the way, noted the release.

“We really do our best to ensure our families they are not in this alone,” Ms. Taj said. “Children are going through a lot when they come into foster care and we want our families to be prepared to love and support them so that the children aren’t further traumatized.”

Child Crisis Arizona has foster care and adoption exploration meetings twice a month with one in Phoenix and one in Mesa. The next meeting will be 6-8 p.m. on July 2, according to the release.

For more information on becoming licensed:

Call 480-834-9424.

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