Foster Care and Adoption

Catholic Charities foster care program helps qualified individuals and couples become licensed foster parents. Our case managers facilitate the initial training and continue to provide ongoing training, resources and support. We recruit and support foster parents, therapeutic foster parents, kinship foster parents and unaccompanied minor foster parents.

Thursday, 11 April 2024

Foster Care: What It Means to Open Your Home

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Catholic Charities Foster Care and Adoption Programs helps families in Central and Northern Arizona become licensed and help provide safe and loving homes for children. Staff assist individuals and married couples throughout the licensing process and beyond.

Foster Care Basics

Foster care involves providing a temporary home for a child who cannot live safely with their biological family, and ensuring the child’s needs are met. However, it’s also about helping the child thrive emotionally.

Children in foster care have experienced trauma and the loss of everything familiar to them. As such, they have complex behavioral needs.

A foster child may remain in a home for as little as a few days or as long as a few years. Although some families end up adopting their foster children, this isn’t always the case. If possible, the goal is always to reunite the child with biological family members.

Sometimes, foster parents are encouraged to communicate with a child’s biological parents. Being a foster parent means doing what’s best for the child and treating biological parents with respect. For foster parents like Vicki, communicating with and supporting biological parents is extremely rewarding.

Licensing and Training

A foster parent must be at least 21 years old, be in good health, have sufficient income and be able to provide a safe, clean living space. The licensing process also requires a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card, CPR/First Aid Certification and clearance of both DCS and criminal background checks.

All foster parents are trained through Foster Parent College and provided one-on-one support through their licensing worker to gain skills and experience for fostering. They are also provided with additional community resources that generously support foster parents with needed items such as bedding and clothing.

Therapeutic Foster Care (Northern Arizona)

Catholic Charities’ Therapeutic Foster Care program is different than traditional foster care because it involves clinical intervention and placement of youth in specially trained foster homes. These children tend to require more assistance with mental, emotional and behavioral health needs. For parents like Desiree, seeing a child overcome trauma is a wholesome experience.

Although the requirements are the same as those for traditional foster care, there’s more training provided. Those interested in becoming therapeutic foster care parents must first become licensed in traditional foster care.

To gain certification in therapeutic foster care, parents must complete 18 hours of additional training. They will also be trained in trauma-informed care and must obtain 18 hours of training annually to maintain their license.

Unaccompanied Minors Program (Phoenix)

Catholic Charities’ Unaccompanied Minors Foster Care Program recruits and trains foster homes to care for unaccompanied minors and foreign-born children in the U.S. without a legal guardian. This program addresses the specific challenges each minor faces and provides services like legal aid, health care, counseling and case management.

These youth are between the ages of 16 and 20, most arrive knowing little to no English. As such, bilingual foster parents are a great fit for this program.

Youth in this program typically are not eligible for adoption. Their biological parents haven’t severed ties and, in most cases, can’t be located to do so. However, most placements are long-term and can stay with until age 21.

The requirements to become a foster family for this program are the same as traditional foster care.

Become a Foster Parent

Catholic Charities is always in need of loving foster parents throughout Central and Northern Arizona. If you’re interested in opening your home, check out the Foster Care and Adoption page for more information or attend an information session.

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Bethany Durham

Bethany Durham has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a passion for storytelling. Her writing for Catholic Charities has included blogs, newspaper and magazine articles. She enjoys telling client stories in a way that captures the humanity and emotions of those she writes about. When she’s not working, Bethany loves to spend time with her two cats, hike and sing karaoke.