« HOTLAYOUTS2U.COM
BLOGGER TEMPLATES »
Care2
Subscribe to My Immortal
Email:
Visit this group

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Arizona Legal Research

 

Laws

Arizona Administrative Code - The Administrative Code of Arizona.
Arizona Constitution - The Constitution of the State of Arizona.
Arizona Revised Statutes - The Revised Arizona Statutes.
Attorney General Opinions - AG Opinions issued when requested by the legislature, any public officer of the State, or a county attorney, on a question of law relating to their office.
Legislature: Bills - Track bills and bill related documents from the Arizona State Legislature.
State Legislature - The official web site of the Arizona State Legislature.

Federal Court Opinions

U.S. 9th Cir. Opinions - FindLaw cases and resources for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) Opinions - Cases and resources provided by the Court.

State Court Opinions

Arizona Supreme Court Opinions - FindLaw cases for Supreme Court of Arizona.
Arizona Court of Appeals Opinions - FindLaw cases for Court of Appeals of Arizona.
Arizona Tax Court Opinions - FindLaw cases for Tax Court of Arizona.

City Ordinances

San Carlos Criminal Code - From San Carlos Apache Police Department.
San Carlos Traffic Code - From San Carlos Apache Police Department.

Federal Legislation from Thomas Legislative Services

Arizona Bills - Bill summary and status from the Library of Congress. - See more at: http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/arizona.html#sthash.sf8eDH0W.dpuf

 

 

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/arizona.html

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Properties of Methamphetamine


2011

Contents

  1. POWDER, ROCK, PILLS: THE FORMS OF METHAMPHETAMINE
  2. Crystalline Powder
  3. Rock
  4. Pills
  5. ROUTES OF EXPOSURE AND DURATION OF EFFECTS
  6. Smoking and injecting
  7. A Cuppa Joe
  8. Eating and Snorting
  9. EXCRETION
  10. DOSE
  11. PURITY AND PRICE
  12. METH WEIGHTS AND PRICES IN 2004–2005

Methamphetamine can either exist as a “left-handed” molecule named l-methamphetamine or a “right-handed” molecule called d-methamphetamine. The left and right meth molecules are mirror images of one another. Mirror images represent one same molecule but with different arrangements in space. Such arrangements may not be superimposed. One’s right and left hands are an example of mirror images. A helpful way to remember their meanings is as the “drug” or “legal” forms of methamphetamine. The d- form of meth has a strong stimulant effect on the brain; its effects on the brain are about three to four times more potent than those from the l- form.

Due to differences in potency, l-methamphetamine provides medicinal benefits without any of the addictive potential contained in the illegal d-methamphetamine. The l- form of methamphetamine is used in some cold medicines, such as Vicks Inhaler, an over-the-counter nasal decongestant. However, to avoid confusion with the illegal version of meth, the manufacturer calls the active ingredient desoxyephedrine.

POWDER, ROCK, PILLS: THE FORMS OF METHAMPHETAMINE

Methamphetamine comes in three forms: a crystalline powder, rocklike chunks, and pills or capsules.

Crystalline Powder

Meth in powder form is typically a white to tan color, but illegally produced meth powder can be yellow, pink, blue, or green depending on the method of manufacture. Red-colored pseudoephedrine tablets can produce a pink meth powder. A bluish tint may come from the use of camper fuel as a solvent. Green meth could be made from green gun scrubber, purchased in sporting goods and hardware stores. Powdered meth can sometimes smell like rotten eggs or urine, and has a bitter taste. A meth lab can be identified by these odors.

THE METHAMPHETAMINE MOLECULE

The l stands for levo, from the Latin word laevus that means “on the left side.” The Latin word dexter means “on the right side,” and is represented by a d.

Figure The chemical structure of d-methamphetamine and l-methamphetamine are mirror images of each other.

Rock

Known as ice, glass, and crystal, these names describe the form of meth that looks like clear, chunky ice or fragments of glass of various sizes. This form tends to be colorless, but can have blue-white coloring. The smoke produced by heating these glassy looking fragments for inhalation is odorless in most cases. From now on, the book will identify this type of meth as crystal meth or ice.

Pills

The least common form of meth is as a pill or tablet. One type of meth tablet is reddish-brown and weighs about 90 milligrams (about one-fourth the size of an aspirin). Because there is no regulation or quality control for illegal drugs, these pills vary widely in strength. For example, in 2000, an illegal shipment of these pills was confiscated in California. Only about 25 percent of each pill was actually meth. The majority was caffeine.

ROUTES OF EXPOSURE AND DURATION OF EFFECTS

The way meth enters the body determines its effects. The crystalline powder can be snorted, eaten, or smoked. It can be dissolved in a beverage and drunk, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected. The rock-like form of meth is smoked. Pills are swallowed.

Smoking and injecting

Smoking and injecting meth delivers a fast and intoxicating high. Meth’s effects are felt within 10 to 30 seconds. Users describe this immediate and intense rush or “flash” as extremely pleasurable. This sensation lasts only a few minutes, but the meth user can still feel a sense of euphoric intoxication for 12 to 14 hours or more. After the initial rush, there is typically a state of high agitation known as “tweaking” that in some individuals can lead to rages and violent behavior.

When crystal meth is heated, it gives off vapors (smoke) that can be inhaled through the lungs. Ice is smoked in a glass pipe or an empty light bulb, and it leaves either a milky or black residue inside the glass, depending on the way it was made. The residue left in the glass can be re-smoked.

When meth in crystalline powder form is heated, it easily dissolves in water or alcohol and can then be injected. Meth injection is as risky as using any other intravenous drug. Sharing needles can spread HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), as well as hepatitis B and C.

These routes bypass the digestive process and directly travel to the central nervous system (the brain) via the bloodstream. Because of this fast-acting and direct route to the nervous system, high doses of inhaled and injected drugs can be more harmful and more addicting over time. In addition, an addictive cycle is generated as the user seeks to re-experience that initial short-lived rush by taking meth with greater doses and frequency.

A Cuppa Joe

Caffeine is the most widely used legal stimulant in the world. On a daily basis, 80 percent of Americans ingest some form of caffeine. The average adult consumption is about two cups of coffee per day.

Source
Caffeine Content (approximate)

Coffee, brewed (drip)
60-180 mg per 8-oz cup

Coffee, instant
30-120 mg per 8-oz cup

Coffee, decaffeinated
2-5 mg per 8-oz cup

Tea, iced
67-76 mg per 12-ozcup

Chocolate milk
2-7 mg per 8-oz cup

Milk chocolate (Hershey’s)
10 mg per 1.5 oz

Jolt
71 mg per 12 oz

Coca-Cola
46 mg per 12 oz

Mountain Dew
54 mg per 12 oz

7-Up, ginger ale, most root beers
0 mg per 12 oz

Eating and Snorting

Oral and intranasal meth use produces a long-lasting euphoria — a high — but not an intense rush. This high can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. It takes more time for the high to take effect as well, about three to five minutes for snorting and about 15 to 20 minutes for oral ingestion. Snorting crystalline meth powder is also called railing, and with long-term use can damage the inside of the nose or cause infection. Users of low doses of meth taken orally obtain effects within 30 to 60 minutes. The euphoric effects are less intense after eating or snorting meth, and require more time to take effect, because the drug first has to go through the digestive process before it hits the bloodstream to be carried to the central nervous system.

EXCRETION

How does methamphetamine get out of the body? The average half-life of methamphetamine is about 12 hours. This means it takes about 12 hours for half the amount of meth snorted, swallowed, smoked, or injected to be processed and excreted through the body’s natural exits, such as through sweating, urinating, or moving the bowels.

The main way that meth exits the body is through renal excretion, also known as urination. The pH of the user’s urine will determine how quickly the meth exits the body. The pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the urine, or any solution, for that matter, where two or more substances are mixed together. The more acidic the urine, the faster meth will exit the body. Acidic urine can speed up the exit process to seven hours instead of 12. Basic (alkaline) urine can slow down meth’s excretion by increasing its half-life to 30 hours.

Some illegal meth users drink vinegar or cranberry juice, both of which are very acidic, to try to cleanse themselves of methamphetamines before a drug test. However, even low doses of meth produce a positive urine test for about 24 hours after taking the drug. High-dose users can test positive for meth for two to four days after their last use.

DOSE

It is important to note that any substance — whether an illegal drug or something like everyday water — can benefit or harm a person depending upon its quantity and potency (strength). High doses of a substance can produce very different effects from low doses. Water is necessary for human life, but drinking extreme amounts of it in a short period of time disrupts the electrolyte and other critical balances in the body with negative consequences. The methamphetamine drug Desoxyn is beneficial at low doses, but high doses of meth can cause violence and psychosis. Also, size does matter: A person who weighs 100 pounds may experience deleterious or even fatal effects from the same amount of drug taken without adverse effect by someone who weighs 175 pounds.

PURITY AND PRICE

The purer the drug, the more potent it is. The more potent a drug, the more intense are its effects. The more intensely a drug effects someone, the more it potentially addictive it is. Superlabs produce the purest and most potent meth because they have trained chemists making the drug. Depending on the method used, the purity of the meth from superlabs ranges from 80 to 90 percent. Small-scale labs produce meth with much lower purity.

Ice is purer than powdered meth. To make more money, powdered meth is diluted, or “cut,” with other ingredients and chemicals. This decreases the purity but increases the total amount of product available to sell. In 2005, the purity of street meth averaged about 54 percent, and contained such substances as baking soda, Epsom salts, quinine (a malaria drug), mannitol (a sugar alternative), ether (a toxic solvent), insecticides (a poison), monosodium glutamate (a preservative), photo developer (a toxic solvent), and strychnine (a poison). Heavy meth users may even prefer these additives because the impurities can give a more intense rush. It is important to remember that it is never possible to know the exact strength or purity of the meth, even if the meth is obtained from a familiar supplier.

The purity of meth has risen and fallen over the years. This reflects a basic supply and demand market. When the key chemicals needed to make meth are not as readily available and therefore are more costly, purity falls because the cooks need to bolster production by adding other substances to the meth. In true market fashion, the price usually goes up during these times. This pattern has occurred each time the government has regulated meth’s precursors over the years.

The price of meth also depends upon the amount purchased and where in the country it is sold. Overall, the price of meth has declined since the 1980s, but for illicit meth manufacturers, it is still a profitable business. A superlab making an average amount of meth — 100 pounds — can earn the manufacturer about $4 million when sold on the street. For the smaller labs, an investment of about $1,500 in ingredients can be turned into $15,000 in meth sales, a tenfold increase.

METH WEIGHTS AND PRICES IN 2004–2005

An average dose of meth is about a quarter of a gram. Because of ice’s intensity, smaller doses provide bigger highs; a gram of ice can provide 10 to 25 hits (doses) of meth. Heavy meth users take three or more grams of meth at a time. Notice how an ounce of gold compares with an ounce of meth.

Dose
Weight
Cost

Quarter
1/4 gram (0.01 ounce)
$20-$80

Half
1/2 gram (0.02 ounce)
$40-$80

Gram
1 gram (0.04 ounce)
$60-$300*

Teenager
1/16 ounce (1.8 grams)
$120-$500

8-Ball
1/8 ounce (3.5 grams)
$100-$250**

Ounce of Meth
1.00 ounce
$1,200-$1,700

Ounce of Gold
1.00 ounce
$500

Pound of Ice
16 ounces
$9,000-$13,000

*Highest retail prices for one gram: Honolulu, Miami, Detroit, and New York City
**Lowest retail prices for one-eighth ounce: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix

Related Posts:
  • Methadone: Generic and Trade Names Synthetic substance Common generic and trade names Adanon, -e Dianona, -e Heptadol Palamidone Afluol Disipan Heptanal Parasedin Alguidon Dolafm Hesse Penalgen Amidon, -a, -e Dolamid, -e Mepecton, -e Phenadone Amidosan Dolamin, -a Metasedin, -e Polamidon, -e Cephalguine Dolaphine Methadoon Porfolan Cetalgin Dolcsona Methidon Quotidina, -e Cetalguine Dolsona Metidon Quotidon Coditine Doloheptone Miadona, -e Sedadimona Cotidone Dolorex, -ol Midadona Sedamidone Depridol Domanid Miheptane Sinalgin Deptadol Dorexol Moheptan, -a Sinalguine Diaminon Eptadol Myanesine Spasmoalgolisine Diamone Espasmoalgolisina Optalguine Spasmoalgolysin
  • Flunitrazepam: Generic and Trade Names Synthetic substance Common generic and trade names Absint Flunitrazepam Neuraxpharm Pre-Sonil Benzosan Flunitrazepam Ratiopharm Primun B Dual N Flunizep von ct Psiconeurin Bibittoace Flupam Razepam Conexine Fluscand Rohipnol Darkene Fluserin Rohpinol Flubioquim Flutraz Rohypnol Fluminoc Hipnosedon Rohyprol Flumipam Hipnox Roipnal Fluni A1 Pharma Hypnocalm Roipnol Fluni OPT Hypnodorm Ronal Flunimerck Hypnor Rophynal Fluninoc Ipnopen Sedex Flunipam Libelius Serenil Raurich Flunita Metopram N Silece Flunitrax Narcozed Somnium Flunitrazepam Narcozep Somnubene Flunitrazepam Duncan Nitam Sylase Flunitrazepam Lando Noriel Valsera Flunitrazepam NM Pharma Parnox Vulbegal  
  • Long-Term Effects Of Meth Use Researchers have documented many of the effects of meth use, but more research is needed. Table Summary of the Short- and Long-Term Effects of Using Methamphetamine shows a summary of some of the short- and long-term desired and undesired effects of meth use. Some of the short-term effects continue over the long-term, whereas others become ...
  • How Much Use Is Occurring? Methamphetamine is a growing worldwide problem. The World Health Organization estimated that over 3 5 million individuals use meth on a regular basis, which is more than the combined total of estimated cocaine users (15 million) and heroin users (less than 10 million) (United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention 2006). In the ...
  • Is Cocaine Addictive? The debate over whether or not cocaine is addictive is ongoing and complicated. The majority of mental health professionals take the view that regular cocaine users cannot voluntarily stop taking the drug. In this sense, cocaine meets the definition of an addictive drug. Moreover, these experts believe that cocaine use leads to physical changes in ...
Incoming search terms:
  • how to rerock methamphetamine
  • how to rerock ice
  • rerocking methamphetamine
  • green meth
  • how does meth exit the body
  • how to re rock ice
  • green methamphetamine
  • how to rerock crystal meth
  • how does meth leave your body
  • meth half life
  • rerock methamphetamine
  • how is meth excreted from the body

Categories: Methamphetamine
Tags: Alcohol, Amphetamines, Caffeine, Methamphetamine

 

http://ecstasy.com.ua/the-properties-of-methamphetamine

Friday, July 18, 2014

6th arrest made in death of Ame Deal

 

Girl's father held on charges of child abuse

by Kellie Mejdrich and Philip Haldiman - Jul. 8, 2012 09:11 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

A sixth suspect in the harrowing abuse and death last year of 10-year-old Ame Deal was arrested Friday night, Phoenix police say.

David Deal, the girl's father, was taken into custody in connection with abusing Ame, who was found dead last July, locked in a footlocker that measured 311/2 inches long, 14 inches wide and 121/4 inches deep in a south Phoenix home, said Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Deal, 52, was arrested on suspicion of four counts of child abuse, three counts of kidnapping and dangerous crimes against children, Crump said.

A court ordered Deal's release from jail Saturday at 3:45 p.m., according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Phoenix police said Deal was let go on his own recognizance, which means he did not post bail and essentially promised to show up for his court date.

Officials believe Deal to be the final suspect in the case, and that he was the first to use confinement as punishment for Ame. The girl's cousins, aunts and grandmother have also been charged in the case.

Officials allege that, on several occasions between December 2010 and July 2011, David locked Ame in a trunk as punishment.

"On one occasion, (he) was said to have thrown the trunk, containing Ame, into the backyard swimming pool because she kept crying and yelling that she couldn't breathe during the confinement," Crump said. "The trunk was removed before it could sink."

After his arrest, Deal denied that Ame was his daughter and that he abused her.

Despite the development in the case, family members accused of tormenting and killing Ame last summer are months, if not years, from standing trial because of the complexity of the case and the severity of the charges.

Authorities allege that John Allen, 23, and Sammantha Allen, 24, her cousins, had stuffed Ame in the footlocker at her home in the 3700 block of West Romley Road in Phoenix the night of July 11 as punishment for taking a Popsicle from the freezer.

Police allege she had been forced into the footlocker several times before. She also faced other abuse that spanned much of her short life.

John Allen and Sammantha Allen are charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and conspiracy to commit child abuse. Police allege that John padlocked Ame inside the footlocker while Sammantha made sure she didn't escape.

The state is seeking the death penalty against John Allen and Sammantha Allen, who were arrested last summer along with Ame's grandmother Judith Deal, 73, and aunt Cynthia Stoltzmann, 45. Judith Deal and Stoltzmann are charged with multiple child-abuse counts.

The death-penalty case won't come to trial until Dec. 16, 2013, court records indicate. That's not unusual for that kind of case, said John Curry, Sammantha Allen's lawyer from Maricopa County's Office of the Legal Defender.

"These are the time limits and the rules. The rules reflect an understanding by all concerned that these cases take a long time," Curry said.

The four original defendants are named in a 15-part indictment that recounts repeated instances of abuse before Ame's death.

Those four original defendants remain in jail, said Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

In February, a new defendant was added to the case: 25-year-old Ammandea Stoltzmann, another of Ame's aunts who's accused of abusing her. Ammandea was released from custody the day after her arrest on the condition she show proof that she lives at her current address, Cobb said.

Ammandea's arrest came as new details emerged during the case investigation, which has crossed state lines, Cobb said.

Witnesses alleged to investigators that while living with Ame in Texas, Ammandea beat the child, restrained her outdoors overnight with a dog collar and chain, and confined her in a dog kennel. They also alleged that in Arizona, in the months before Ame's death, Ammandea scrubbed her face with a wire brush, kicked her in the face, and put extremely potent hot sauce in her mouth as punishment for lying, police records show.

In a police statement, Ammandea said Ame was never schooled, allowed to play or taken anywhere with the rest of the family.

The trial of Cynthia Stoltzmann,Ammandea Stoltzmann and Judith Deal was separated from that of John Allen and Sammantha Allen because their charges are related to abuse before her death, records show. The three facing lesser charges are scheduled to meet for a case-management conference on Aug. 10, but their trial date has not been set.

While neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys would comment publicly on details of the cases, court records show there is a complex discovery process in place to lay out evidence showing how Ame was abused and how she died. A long list of witnesses is expected to be called.

There already has been controversy between Sammantha Allen's defense team and the prosecution over what may be admitted into evidence.

Records show that the defense moved to have a private jailhouse conversation between John and Sammantha stricken from available evidence, arguing that the recording violated state law. The defense became aware of the conversation in discovery.

The judge has not yet ruled on a motion to suppress that evidence.

Police, meanwhile, said the investigation continues.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20120701ame-deal-death-sixth-arrest.html#ixzz37t1BiRok

 

 

David Deal

David Deal, the girl's father.

 

 

http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20120701ame-deal-death-sixth-arrest.html

10 Truths You Will Learn Before You Find Happiness

1.  It’s impossible for anyone else to define YOU.

You are indefinable.  You are the only one in this world who gets to say who you are.  Circumstances and the opinions of others can only define you if you allow them to.  Do not give away your power and the magic of your essence by putting weight on negative situations in your life or the negative words of other people.

2.  You were born with everything you need.

There is nothing you are missing.  There is no need to frantically become more, be more, do more, or get more.  You are whole and complete, and were gifted every talent and insight you needed to thrive in this world in the moment you were born.  Your only job is to accept this truth and then allow it to unfold.  Some gifts don’t become apparent until later in life.  Some insights only become clear to you once you have life experiences that unlock such wisdom from within you.  Trust in this and relax.

3.  Perfection is a man-made illusion.

We are beautifully imperfect beings, operating in a very imperfect world, and that is just the way it is meant to be.  Striving for perfection is a hollow goal, one that can never be achieved.  Society shows us doctored images of perfection constantly in marketing, media, opinions and expectations.  Do not buy into this illusion; it will only lead you into darkness.  Embrace your quirks, your flaws and the fact that life is a roller coaster at times.  Strive for excellence, have high standards… but never confuse that with the crippling behavior of perfectionism.

4.  You are NOT your thoughts.

You are the witnessing essence and consciousness behind the noise in your mind.  Your mind doesn’t define you, nor does it control you.  It is not who you are.  As soon as you recognize this, by watching your thoughts like an intrigued third-party observer, you will create instant distance from those thoughts and therefore no longer be identified with or enslaved by them.  (Read The Power of Now.)

5.  Your beliefs can be modified to lift you up.

Whatever you believe to be true about yourself and life in the long-term becomes your reality.  Your beliefs are ingrained patterns of thinking that you build up over a lifetime.  They are habitual ways of processing the world around you.  If those beliefs don’t work in your favor, you can change them.  How?  In the very same way the negative beliefs formed in the first place – via repetitive thoughts that you accepted to be the truth.  Ingrain new beliefs by consciously choosing and repeating messages that lift you up.

6.  The past and future don’t exist.

Now is the moment.  The past is just a memory.  The future is a mental projection.  You can choose to dwell back in the past for learning and joyous reflection.  You can choose to dwell in the future for visualization and practical planning.  However, any time your awareness floats away to the past or future frequently for negative purposes, you are suffocating your ability to thrive in the only moment you ever have… the now.  Past and future literally do not exist right now – feel the freedom in this truth.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

7.  Your calling in life is to fully express who you already are.

The world will never see another human being like you.  There is no one on the face of the planet that has what you have.  Your uniqueness, in every respect, is your gift.  Life asks one thing of you… to be the full expression of yourself so that you can leave your unique imprint on all those you encounter and upon the world.  Never underestimate the power of your energy and how it ripples outwards to affect everything and everyone around you – IF you are being your full, authentic self.  Honor your intuition and act upon all your inspirations.

8.  Challenges are gifts for your growth.

Without challenges you cannot unlock your full potential.  Obstacles are opportunities for growth.  The world needs the fullness of who you are, and it is through your experiences in life that you unfold into that fullness.  How can you demonstrate willpower and strength if your resolve has never been tested?  How can you role model love and compassion if you have never faced the opposite?  Knowing there is a higher purpose within dark times, is what leads you to be at peace in the midst of those storms, knowing that you are a diamond being forged under pressure.

9.  Forgiveness is choosing happiness over hurt.

We do not forgive others in order to free them of the situation, burden, guilt or regret.  We forgive others to free ourselves and walk into compassion and love by doing so.  It is in freeing ourselves that our energy level rises, our consciousness rises, and in doing so those around us benefit too.  The words of forgiveness have a positive impact on those we forgive, but ultimately forgiveness is a choice that allows us to be happy again.  This goes for both forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self.

10.  Surrender is the essence of a happy life.

Letting go is not giving up.  Letting go is surrendering any obsessive attachment to particular people, outcomes and situations.  Surrender means showing up every day in your life with the intention to be your best self, and to do the best you know how, without expecting life to go a certain way.  Have goals, have dreams, aspire and take purposeful action, but detach from what life must look like.

The energy of someone aspiring to create their dreams, teamed with surrender, is far more powerful and creative than someone determined to create outcomes with a desperate ‘must have’ mentality.  Surrender brings inner peace and joy, and lest we forget that our outer lives are a reflection of our inner state of being.  (Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

The floor is yours…

What would you add to this post?  What’s one realization or truth you’ve learned that has helped you find more happiness in life?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Author Bio:  Bernadette Logue blogs at Pinch Me Living, inspiring you to be who you are and do what you love as a recipe for a life filled with “pinch me” moments.  Sign up for free to get four chapters of her bestselling eBook and her Positive Affirmations audio.  Or follow her on Facebook.

 

http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/10/15/10-truths-you-will-learn-before-you-find-happiness/

Children Committing Suicide in CPS/DCFS Care

 

“… laws, according to state documents, encourage counties and their private contractors to earn money by placing and keeping children in foster care. The county receives $30,000 to $150,000 in state and federal revenues annually for each child placed.”

[While reading this, please keep in mind the age of the story. The statistics have not decreased in the past 9 years, but on the contrary have increased.
Although the beginning doesn't give the full impact of the article,  please do read on as you will find it increasingly interesting and somewhat enlightening. ]

December 28, 2003

 


Troy Anderson
Staff Writer

Children committing suicide at younger age

Los Angeles County’s child protective system is one of the most
violent and dangerous in the nation, and its foster children are up
to 10 times more likely to die from abuse or neglect than elsewhere
in the country, a two-year investigation by the Daily News has found.

In 2001 in the United States, 1.5 percent of the 1,225 children who
died from abuse and neglect were in foster care, but in the county
14.3 percent of the 35 children who died of mistreatment that year
were in foster care, government statistics show. The percentage in
the county from 1991 to 2001 averaged 4.23 percent.
The taxpayer-funded county and state systems are so overwhelmed with
false allegations – four out of every five mistreatment reports are
ruled unfounded or inconclusive – and filled with so many children
who shouldn’t even be in the system, experts say, that social workers
are failing in their basic mission to protect youngsters. Nationally,
two out of three reports of mistreatment are false.

Since 1991, the county Coroner’s Office has referred more than 2,300
child deaths to the county’s child death review team – and more than
660 of those dead children were involved in the child protective
system, including nearly 160 who were homicide victims.

In many of these deaths, county Children’s Services Inspector General
Michael Watrobski made recommendations to the Department of Children
and Family Services to conduct in-house investigations to determine
if disciplinary action was warranted against those workers involved
in the cases.

Of 191 child deaths Watrobski investigated since 2001, he made a
total of 63 recommendations to address systemic problems to improve
the way the system works in an effort to reduce the number of child
deaths.

Despite spending more than $36 million on foster care lawsuit
settlements, judgments and legal expenses since 1990, DCFS
disciplined less than a third of the social workers responsible for
the lawsuits, most of which involved families who alleged social
workers’ negligence contributed to the deaths and mistreatment of
their children in foster care.

“That’s pathetic,” county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said.
“When you have a department that is responsible for the health and
safety of children there is no excuse to have a dismal record of
accountability like this.”

Meanwhile, in the various facilities that make up the county’s foster
care system, between 6 percent and 28 percent of the children are
abused or neglected – figures comparable to the rate in New Jersey,
which many experts have long called the state with the most dangerous
child welfare system in the nation.

In the general population, only 1 percent of children suffer such
mistreatment.

“When I stepped into this job, I said that too many kids are hurt in
foster care,” said DCFS Director David Sanders, who started in March
after the forced resignations of the previous four directors. “That
is absolutely glaring and the fact this department has never been
willing to say that is a huge problem.

“It is clear when you compare us to other systems, we have more kids
being hurt in our care than in other systems. That is absolutely
inexcusable. I can’t say that more strongly. If is a reflection of a
system that isn’t working.”

Despite the staggering number of child deaths and mistreatment of
thousands of children, Sanders said the department’s efforts have
saved the lives of hundreds of children over the years. He also noted
that the vast majority of foster parents don’t mistreat children.

And child advocates say for the first time in the county’s history
the DCFS director is taking unprecedented steps to reduce the number
of deaths and percentage of foster children who are mistreated.

“In the past, the system has failed to protect children in its
care,” said Andrew Bridge, managing director of child welfare reform
programs at the private Broad Foundation. “The new leadership at the
department has been left with that legacy and is taking aggressive
steps to fix it and protect children.”

DCFS statistics show the percentage of foster children abused and
neglected averages about 6 percent, but in the foster homes
supervised by private foster family agencies, an average of 10
percent of children are mistreated. However, the rates range up to 28
percent in some homes, Sanders said.

Statewide, the rate averages close to 1 percent.

In New Jersey, the foster care mistreatment rate ranges from 7
percent to 28 percent in different parts of the state, said Marcia
Lowry, executive director of the New York City-based Children’s
Rights advocacy organization.

Of 20 states surveyed in 1999, the percentage of children mistreated
by foster parents averaged a half percent. The rate of abuse ranged
from one-tenth of a percent in Arizona, Delaware and Wyoming to 1.6
percent in Illinois to 2.3 percent in Rhode Island, according to
federal statistics.

Susan Lambiase, associate director of Children’s Rights, was
surprised to learn of the percentage in Los Angeles County, calling
it “absolutely horrendous.”

“(Los Angeles County is) a child welfare system in crisis because
the children are getting pulled from their homes to keep them safe
and the system cannot assure that they are being kept safe,” said
Lambiase, whose organization has filed about 10 class-action lawsuits
to place state child welfare systems under federal consent decrees
and is considering what action it might take in Los Angeles County.

“It’s unacceptable,” she said. “This is a malfunctioning foster
care system given that its role in society is to protect children
from abuse and neglect.”

Critics say social workers are so busy filling out paperwork and
investigating false reports that they are overlooking the warning
signs of many children in the community in real danger and are not
able to properly ensure the safety of children in foster care.

“When you overload your system with children who don’t need to be in
foster care, workers have less time to find the children in real
danger,” said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National
Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Alexandria, Va.

The Daily News investigation found that up to half of the 75,000
children in the system and adoptive homes were needlessly placed in a
system that is often more dangerous than their own homes because of
financial incentives in state and federal laws. These laws, according
to state documents, encourage counties and their private contractors
to earn money by placing and keeping children in foster care. The
county receives $30,000 to $150,000 in state and federal revenues
annually for each child placed.

Adrianna Romero Cram, Oregon foster child who was murdered in Mexico at age 4

Adrianna Romero Cram, Oregon foster child who was murdered in Mexico at age 4

Some examples of settled cases involving the deaths of foster
children include:

–Long Beach resident Jacquelyn Bishop, whose twins were taken away
because she hadn’t gotten her son an immunization. Kameron Demery, 2,
was later beaten to death by his foster mother.

The foster mother was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced
to prison. In 2000, the county settled a wrongful death case with
Bishop for $200,000.

–Gardena resident Debra Reid was awarded a $1 million settlement
last year for the death of her 9-year-old son Jonathan Reid, who had
been in foster homes in El Monte and Pomona. He died of an asthma
attack in 1997 after social workers didn’t notify the foster mother
of his severe asthma and diabetes conditions – a tragic irony,
because the boy was placed in foster care after county social workers
alleged Reid was neglecting her son by not providing appropriate
medical care for his diabetes and asthma.

Reid’s other son, 10-year-old Debvin Mitchell, who received $100,000
as part of the settlement after he was wrongfully detained, said his
foster parents were “brutal” to him during his one-and-a-half years
in multiple foster homes.

“I thought that it was cruel and unusual for being beaten like that
for no reason,” said Mitchell. “When I came home, I had bruises
everywhere. I feel good to be back with my family where I don’t get
beaten for silly things for no reason and most of all I’m glad to be
back with my mom.”

Anthony Cavuoti, who has worked as a DCFS social worker for 14 years,
said the department does a poor job of protecting children.

“The nominal goal is to protect children, but the real goal is to
make money,” he said. “A caseworker used to have 80 to 100 cases.
Now we have 30, but we have to file five times as much paperwork. If
the workers put kids before paperwork and administration, they are
going to be forced out or harassed. With such a mentality, children
are always in danger.”

In a historic step to address the problem at the root of the system’s
failures, Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Nash recently called
for a historic reevaluation of half of the 30,000 cases of children
in foster homes to determine who could be safely returned to their
families or relatives.

If properly done by providing the services families need, experts say
this step combined with the DCFS request for a federal waiver to use
$250 million of its $1.4 billion budget on services to help keep
families together could ultimately reduce the number of children in
foster care and social workers’ large caseloads, giving them more
time to help protect children in truly dangerous situations.

“The court system itself should only be for those cases that reflect
serious cases of abuse and neglect,” Nash said. “We have to have
more of a talk first, shoot later mentality rather than a shoot
first, talk later mentality. We can do a much better job.”

Sanders said more than 25 percent of those children will probably be
able to return home. Concerned that two-thirds of his 6,500-employees
are working behind desks, Sanders said he plans to move 1,000 staff
promoted to office jobs by previous directors back to the streets as
social workers, which will reduce caseloads and give workers more
time to spend with families, a critical element to assure the safety
of children.

Keywords: LOS ANGELES COUNTY – FOSTER CARE – CHILD – DAILY NEWS -
PROBE -

VIOLENCE – DEATH – MURDER – US – STATISTIC – COMPARISON – REPORT -
DEPT OF

CHILDREN FAMILY SERVICES – DCFS – REACTION – ABUSE – ISSUE – LIST -
SAFETY -

CALIFORNIA – REFORM

———————————————————————-
———-
All content © 2003- Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) and may not be
republished without permission.

http://amiablyme.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/children-committing-suicide-in-cpsdcfs-care/

DEATH INVESTIGATION: 3-YEAR-OLD DIES IN CPS CUSTODY

 

 

http://www.abc15.com/content/news/westvalley/goodyear/story/Death-investigation-3-year-old-dies-in-CPS-custody/j_QoJq4NVE-EvLfJvYJ4YQ.cspx

 

 

Reported by: Nicole Beyer

Email: nbeyer@abc15.com

Last Update: 5:47 am

GOODYEAR, AZ- An investigation is underway after a 3-year-old girl died in foster care last month.

“I just know the baby didn’t go to sleep and wrap a blanket around her head,” said her grandmother, Vicky Shepard. “They said the blanket was wrapped around her head, in her mouth.”

Goodyear Police got a call about 11 a.m. on July 30 from a foster home near Yuma Steet and Estrella Parkway saying 3-year-old Apollonia Yanez wasn’t breathing after she went down for a nap.

“She’s beautiful, young, intelligent,” said her dad, Eddie Yanez.

The Assistant to the Chief in Goodyear, John Rowan, confirmed four other kids were inside the home when the 3-year-old was found unconscious. They included the victim’s 9-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother along with the foster parents’ biological children.

Paramedics attempted CPR, but Rowan said the 3-year-old later died after being transported to West Valley Hospital.

The victim’s dad, Eddie Yanez, said he suspects foul play because there’s “no way possible that this could happen to an innocent 3-year-old under the State of Arizona foster care.”

Yanez’s biggest concern is not just finding out if this was murder, but also getting his two other children back.

He said he’s clean now and ready to care for them, but he’s worried this won’t be a priority because his family doesn’t have the money to fight this.

“I made a thousand phone calls and not one person ever got back to me,” said Shepard. “I just want answers, that’s all I want.”

Shepard said for her a key piece to the investigation is that her 3-year-old granddaughter hated blankets.

“She would kick ‘em off, fight ‘em off or cry, she didn’t like them,” she said.

Goodyear Police are not calling the death suspicious and say they’re waiting for the autopsy results. They’re still interviewing the foster parents.

But Rowan confirms all of the children, including the foster parents’ biological children, have been removed from the home which he said is standard during this type of death investigation.

Stay with ABC 15 and ABC15.com for developments.

http://stopcorruptdss.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/death-investigation-3-year-old-dies-in-cps-custody/

SB1001 - 432S - I Ver

 

Reference Title: child protective services; parental rights.

AN ACT
AMENDING SECTIONS 8-546.02, 8-803, 13-3620.01, 41-1376 AND 41-1380, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING SECTION 41-1377, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1997, CHAPTER 256, SECTION 18; REPEALING SECTION 41-1377, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1997, CHAPTER 222, SECTION 71; AMENDING SECTION 41-1378, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1997, CHAPTER 256, SECTION 19; REPEALING SECTION 41-1378, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY LAWS 1997, CHAPTER 222, SECTION 72; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION; RELATING TO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1. Section 8-546.02, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

8-546.02 . Limitation of authority; duty to inform

A. Upon initial contact with a parent, guardian or custodian under investigation pursuant to this article, a protective services worker shall inform the family that the family is under investigation by the department and shall make clear that the protective services worker has no legal authority to compel the family to cooperate with the investigation or to receive protective services offered pursuant to the investigation. The PROTECTIVE SERVICES worker shall inform the family of his THE WORKER'S authority to petition the juvenile court for a determination that a child is dependent. THE PROTECTIVE SERVICES WORKER SHALL INFORM THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR CUSTODIAN OF THAT PERSON'S RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEDIATION PROGRAM IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS AIDE PURSUANT TO SECTION 41-1376 AND TO APPEAL DETERMINATIONS MADE BY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES. THE WORKER SHALL PROVIDE THE TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF THESE STATE AGENCIES. THE PROTECTIVE SERVICES WORKER SHALL SUPPLY THE INFORMATION PRESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION AND INFORMATION OUTLINING PARENTAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE IN WRITING AND SHALL MAKE ALL REASONABLE EFFORTS TO RECEIVE WRITTEN ACKNOWLEDGMENT FROM THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR CUSTODIAN.

B. The protective services worker shall also inform the person about whom the report was made about that person's right to respond to the allegations either verbally or in writing, including any documentation, and TO have this information considered in determining if the child is in need of protective services. The protective services worker shall tell the person that anything the person says or writes can be used in a court proceeding. If the person makes a verbal response, the protective services worker shall include the response in the written report of the investigation. If the person makes a written response, including any documentation, the protective services worker shall include this response and the documentation in the case file. Information provided in response to the allegations shall be considered during the investigation by the protective services worker. The protective services worker shall maintain the response and documentation in the case file and provide this information to the court before a hearing or trial relating to the dependency petition.

C. If the family declines to cooperate with the investigation or to accept or to participate in the offered services, or if the worker otherwise believes that the child should be adjudicated dependent, the worker may file with the juvenile court a petition requesting that the child in need of protective services be adjudicated dependent.

D. Refusal to cooperate in the investigation or to participate in the offered services does not constitute grounds for temporary custody of a child except if there is a clear necessity for temporary custody as provided in section 8-223.

Sec. 2. Section 8-803, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended effective from and after June 30, 1998 to read:

8-803 . Limitation of authority; duty to inform

A. Upon initial contact with a parent, guardian or custodian under investigation pursuant to this article, a protective services worker shall inform the family that the family is under investigation by the department and shall make clear that the protective services worker has no legal authority to compel the family to cooperate with the investigation or to receive protective services offered pursuant to the investigation. The PROTECTIVE SERVICES worker shall inform the family of his THE WORKER'S authority to petition the juvenile court for a determination that a child is dependent. THE PROTECTIVE SERVICES WORKER SHALL INFORM THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR CUSTODIAN OF THAT PERSON'S RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEDIATION PROGRAM IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS AIDE PURSUANT TO SECTION 41-1376 AND TO APPEAL DETERMINATIONS MADE BY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES. THE WORKER SHALL PROVIDE THE TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF THESE STATE AGENCIES. THE PROTECTIVE SERVICES WORKER SHALL SUPPLY THE INFORMATION PRESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION AND INFORMATION OUTLINING PARENTAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE IN WRITING AND SHALL MAKE ALL REASONABLE EFFORTS TO RECEIVE WRITTEN ACKNOWLEDGMENT FROM THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR CUSTODIAN.

B. The protective services worker shall also inform the person about whom the report was made about that person's right to respond to the allegations either verbally or in writing, including any documentation, and TO have this information considered in determining if the child is in need of protective services. The protective services worker shall tell the person that anything the person says or writes can be used in a court proceeding. If the person makes a verbal response, the protective services worker shall include the response in the written report of the investigation. If the person makes a written response, including any documentation, the protective services worker shall include this response and the documentation in the case file. Information provided in response to the allegations shall be considered during the investigation by the protective services worker. The protective services worker shall maintain the response and documentation in the case file and provide this information to the court before a hearing or trial relating to the dependency petition.

C. If the family declines to cooperate with the investigation or to accept or to participate in the offered services, or if the worker otherwise believes that the child should be adjudicated dependent, the worker may file with the juvenile court a petition requesting that the child in need of protective services be adjudicated dependent.

D. Refusal to cooperate in the investigation or to participate in the offered services does not constitute grounds for temporary custody of a child except if there is a clear necessity for temporary custody as provided in section 8-223.

Sec. 3. Section 13-3620.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

13-3620.01 . False reports; violation; classification

A. A person acting with malice who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or neglect or a person acting with malice who coerces another person to make a false report of child abuse or neglect , is guilty of a class 3 1 misdemeanor.

B. A person who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report that a person has violated the provisions of subsection A of this section , is guilty of a class 3 1 misdemeanor.

Sec. 4. Section 41-1376, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1376 . Powers and duties

A. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall:

1. Investigate the administrative acts of agencies pursuant to section 41-1377, subsections A and B except as provided in section 41-1377, subsections C, D and E. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall investigate the administrative acts of an agency without regard to the finality of the administrative act.

2. Annually before January 1 prepare a written report to the governor, the legislature and the public that contains a summary of the ombudsman-citizens aide's activities during the previous fiscal year. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall semiannually present this report before the legislative council. This report shall include:

(a) The ombudsman-citizens aide's mission statement.

(b) The number of matters that were within each of the categories specified in section 41-1379, subsection B.

(c) Legislative issues affecting the ombudsman-citizens aide.

(d) Selected case studies that illustrate the ombudsman-citizens aide's work and reasons for complaints.

(e) Ombudsman-citizens aide's contact statistics.

(f) Ombudsman-citizens aide's staff.

3. Before conducting the first investigation adopt rules that ensure that confidential information that is gathered will not be disclosed.

4. Appoint a deputy ombudsman and prescribe the duties of employees or, subject to appropriation, contract for the services of independent contractors necessary to administer the duties of the office of ombudsman-citizens aide. All staff serves at the pleasure of the ombudsman-citizens aide, and they are exempt from chapter 4, articles 5 and 6 of this title. All staff shall be subject to the conflict of interest provisions of title 38, chapter 3, article 8.

5. Before conducting the first investigation, adopt rules that establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, including guidelines to ensure each complainant has exhausted all reasonable alternatives within the agency, conducting investigations, incorporating agency responses into recommendations and reporting findings.

6. Notify the chief executive or administrative officer of the agency in writing of the intention to investigate unless notification would unduly hinder the investigation or make the investigation ineffectual.

7. APPOINT AN ASSISTANT TO HELP THE OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS AIDE INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS RELATING TO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY. THE ASSISTANT SHALL HAVE EXPERTISE IN CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES PROCEDURES AND LAWS. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS AIDE AND THE ASSISTANT HAVE ACCESS TO CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES RECORDS AND TO ANY AUTOMATED CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM USED BY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY.

B. After the conclusion of an investigation and notice to the head of the agency pursuant to section 41-1379, the ombudsman-citizens aide may present the ombudsman-citizens aide's opinion and recommendations to the governor, the legislature, the office of the appropriate prosecutor or the public, or any combination of these persons. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall include in the opinion the reply of the agency, including those issues that were resolved as a result of the ombudsman-citizens aide's preliminary opinion or recommendation.

Sec. 5. Section 41-1377, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by Laws 1997, chapter 256, section 18, is amended to read:

41-1377 . Scope of investigations

A. On receiving a complaint the ombudsman-citizens aide may investigate administrative acts of agencies that the ombudsman-citizens aide has reason to believe may be:

1. Contrary to law.

2. Unreasonable, unfair, oppressive, arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or unnecessarily discriminatory, even though they may be in accordance with law.

3. Based on a mistake of fact.

4. Based on improper or irrelevant grounds.

5. Unsupported by an adequate statement of reasons.

6. Performed in an inefficient or discourteous manner.

7. Otherwise erroneous.

B. On receiving a complaint the ombudsman-citizens aide may investigate to find an appropriate remedy.

C. On receiving a complaint the ombudsman-citizens aide may refuse to investigate an administrative act of an agency that otherwise qualifies for investigation under subsection A of this section if:

1. There is presently available an adequate remedy for the grievance stated in the complaint.

2. The complaint relates to a matter that is outside the duties of the ombudsman-citizens aide.

3. The complaint relates to an administrative act that the complainant has had knowledge of for an unreasonable time period before filing the complaint.

4. The complainant does not have a sufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the complaint.

5. The complaint is trivial or made in bad faith.

6. The resources of the office of ombudsman-citizens aide are insufficient to adequately investigate the complaint.

D. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall refuse to investigate complaints filed by a person in the custody of the state department of corrections.

E. On receiving a complaint that involves confidential information as defined in section 42-108, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall either:

1. Work with the department of revenue problem resolution officer or an employee of the department of revenue who is authorized to access confidential taxpayer information.

2. Obtain a power of attorney from the taxpayer to access confidential information specific to the complainant in a form acceptable to the department of revenue.

F. On receiving a complaint that involves confidential information relating to section 36-2903, subsection J, section 36-2917, section 36-2932, subsection F or section 36-2972, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall either:

1. Work with the Arizona health care cost containment system administration employee who is authorized to access confidential information.

2. Obtain a power of attorney from the complainant to access confidential information specific to the complainant in a form acceptable to the Arizona health care cost containment system administration.

G. On receiving a complaint involving personally identifiable information contained in the records of the department of economic security concerning child protective services cases pursuant to section 8-546.07, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall either:

1. Work with the department of economic security employee who is authorized to access confidential information.

2. Obtain a power of attorney from the complainant to access confidential information specific to the complainant in a form acceptable to the department of economic security.

H. G. On receiving a complaint that involves confidential information relating to sections 36-507, 36-509 and 36-2220, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall either:

1. Work with the department of health services employee who is authorized to access confidential information.

2. Obtain a power of attorney from the complainant to access confidential information specific to the complainant in a form acceptable to the department of health services.

Sec. 6. Repeal

Section 41-1377 , Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by Laws 1997, chapter 222, section 71, is repealed.

Sec. 7. Section 41-1378, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by Laws 1997, chapter 256, section 19, is amended to read:

41-1378 . Complaint; investigation; investigative authority; violation; classification

A. All complaints shall be addressed to the ombudsman-citizens aide. If an agency receives correspondence between a complainant and the ombudsman-citizens aide, it shall hold that correspondence in trust and shall promptly forward the correspondence, unopened, to the ombudsman-citizens aide.

B. Within thirty days of receipt of the complaint, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall notify the complainant of the decision to investigate or not to investigate the complaint. If the ombudsman-citizens aide decides not to investigate and if requested by the complainant, the OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS aide shall provide the reasons for not investigating in writing.

C. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall not charge any fees for investigations or complaints.

D. In an investigation, the ombudsman-citizens aide may:

1. Make inquiries and obtain information considered necessary subject to the restrictions in section 41-1377.

2. Enter without notice to inspect agency premises with agency staff on the premises.

3. Hold hearings.

4. Notwithstanding any other law, have access to all state agency records, including confidential records, except:

(a) Sealed court records without a subpoena.

(b) Active criminal investigation records.

(c) Records that could lead to the identity of confidential police informants.

(d) Attorney work product and communications that are protected under the attorney-client privilege.

(e) Confidential information as defined in section 42-108 except as provided in section 42-108, subsection D, paragraph 13.

(f) Information protected by section 6103(d), 6103(p)(8) or 7213 of the internal revenue code.

(g) Confidential information relating to section 36-2903, subsection J, section 36-2917, section 36-2932, subsection F or section 36-2972.

(h) Confidential information as prescribed in section 8-546.07.

(i) (h) Confidential information relating to sections 36-507, 36-509 and 36-2220.

E. It is contrary to the public policy of this state for any state agency or any individual acting for a state agency to take any adverse action against an individual in retaliation because the individual cooperated with or provided information to the ombudsman-citizens aide or the ombudsman-citizens aide's staff.

F. If requested by the complainants or witnesses, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall maintain confidentiality with respect to those matters necessary to protect the identities of the complainants or witnesses. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall ensure that confidential records are not disclosed by either the ombudsman-citizens aide or staff to the ombudsman-citizens aide. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall maintain the confidentiality of an agency record. With respect to requests made pursuant to title 39, chapter 1, article 2 or other requests for information, the ombudsman-citizens aide shall maintain all records in the same manner that the ombudsman-citizens aide receives from the custodial agency as those on the custodial agency.

G. The ombudsman-citizens aide or any staff member or other employee of the ombudsman-citizens aide who knowingly divulges or makes known in any manner not permitted by law any particulars of any record, document or information for which the law restricts disclosure is guilty of a class 5 felony.

Sec. 8. Repeal

Section 41-1378 , Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by Laws 1997, chapter 222, section 72, is repealed.

Sec. 9. Section 41-1380, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1380 . Ombudsman-citizens aide protections

A. A civil action may not be brought against the ombudsman-citizens aide or the staff of the ombudsman-citizens aide for any action or omission in performing the duties under this article except for gross negligence or intentional wrongful acts or omissions except as provided in title 38, chapter 3, article 8.

B. A proceeding or decision of the ombudsman-citizens aide may be reviewed in superior court only to determine if it is contrary to this article.

C. The ombudsman-citizens aide and the staff of the ombudsman-citizens aide shall not be required to testify in court regarding matters that come to their attention in the exercise of their duties except as may be necessary to enforce this article.

D. RECORDS AND FILES MAINTAINED BY THE OMBUDSMAN-CITIZENS AIDE ARE NOT PUBLIC RECORDS AND ARE EXEMPT FROM TITLE 39, CHAPTER 1. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THESE RECORDS AND FILES THAT WERE PREPARED PURSUANT TO AN INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED UNDER THIS ARTICLE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE EXCEPT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR ANY COUNTY ATTORNEY IN CONNECTION WITH AN INVESTIGATION THAT HAS BEEN REFERRED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR A COUNTY ATTORNEY PURSUANT TO SECTION 41-1379. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, "RECORDS AND FILES" INCLUDES ALL INFORMATION THE DEPARTMENT GATHERS DURING THE COURSE OF A CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED UNDER THIS ARTICLE FROM THE TIME A FILE IS OPENED AND UNTIL IT IS CLOSED. RECORDS AND FILES DOES NOT INCLUDE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTAINED IN CHILD WELFARE AGENCY LICENSING RECORDS.

Sec. 10. Joint legislative oversight committee on child protective services; membership; duties

A. The joint legislative oversight committee on child protective services is established consisting of the following members:

1. Five members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, not more than three of whom represent the same political party. The speaker of the house of representatives shall designate one of these members to Chaucer the committee.

2. Five members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, not more than three of whom represent the same political party. The president of the senate shall designate one of these members to cochair the committee.

B. The committee shall:

1. Conduct periodic performance reviews of the division of child protective services in the department of economic security.

2. Review and recommend reform measures for the child protective services system.

3. Work in conjunction with the auditor general to ensure that the auditor general's recommendations are implemented.

4. Submit semiannual reports of its findings and recommendations to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the joint legislative budget committee, the secretary of state and the director of the department of library, archives and public records.

Sec. 11. Delayed repeal

Section 10 of this act is repealed on December 31, 1998.

Sec. 12. Appropriation; purpose; exemption from lapsing

A. The sum of $7,518,300 is appropriated from the state general fund for fiscal year 1997-1998 as follows:

1. $1,143,600 to the division of child protective services in the department of economic security for an additional twenty-seven full-time child protective services worker employees and related expenses.

2. $643,200 to the attorney general for an additional fifteen full-time employees and related expenses to address dependency petitions.

3. $46,300 to the office of the ombudsman-citizens aide for an assistant as prescribed in section 41-1376, subsection A, paragraph 7, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act.

4. $3,553,600 to the division of child protective services in the department of economic security for the expansion of the current family builders pilot program in Maricopa county and Pima county and as established pursuant to Laws 1997, chapter 223, section 2.

5. $2,008,600 to the division of child protective services in the department of economic security for support services for increased response rates to telephone calls made to child protective services in Maricopa county and Pima county.

6. $53,000 to the division of child protective services in the department of economic security for two full-time employees to coordinate intake and referral of telephone calls related to the family builders pilot program.

7. $70,000 to the division of child protective services in the department of economic security for the audiotaping of initial telephone reports made by the public to the division.

B. The appropriation made in subsection A of this section is exempt from the provisions of section 35-190, Arizona Revised Statutes, relating to lapsing of appropriations.

Sec. 13. Emergency

This act is an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety and is operative immediately as provided by law.

 

http://www.azleg.state.az.us/legtext/43leg/2s/bills/sb1001p.htm

Parents' Bill of Rights (includes both Mothers and Fathers)

 

We have created a Parents’ Bill of Rights describing the basic protection for all parents/caregivers who become involved in the child welfare system. Some of these rights are in Federal child welfare law and are therefore required in every state. Other rights may be upheld as standard practice in some but not all states. We are promoting all of these rights on moral grounds, to ensure positive outcomes for families involved in the child welfare system.

  1. Every parent has the right to culturally and linguistically appropriate education, housing, health and mental health, food and nutrition, financial, and parenting support needed to raise their children.
  2. Every parent has the right to get help when they ask for it, including immediate access to neighborhood and community support such as child care, health and mental health care, access to substance abuse programs, in-home services, that help them prevent removal of their children from their home.
  3. Every parent whose child is involved in the child welfare system has the right to receive support and help from a parent advocate (who has been involved in child protective services) to successfully navigate the system and advocate for their family.
  4. Every parent has the right to know why they are being investigated by the child protection system and the outcome of any investigation; to be provided with a clear and immediate explanation of every step of the child protection process, and their rights from the very beginning (including their right not to let the caseworker in when they knock on the door if they do not have a warrant), and to receive information on available assistance and help parents advocate for themselves and their family.
  5. Every parent has the right to an emergency hearing no later than 24 hours following their child’s removal from their home.
  6. Every parent has the right to fair treatment including due process protections (including the right to be present and bring witnesses to all proceedings, have an attorney, appeal agency decisions, and make complaints or raise concerns); equal treatment without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, religion, economic status, family composition, or sexual orientation; access to immediate, affordable, high quality, competent, knowledgeable, and assertive legal representation, from the report through the investigation, court and “reunification” stages.
  7. Every parent who is being investigated by child protective services has the right to be considered “innocent until proven guilty,” not to be judged guilty by association, and not to be considered neglectful or abusive solely because they or their child has a disability or mental health need.
  8. Every parent has the right to speak for themselves and to be respectfully heard at every step of the child protective service processes.
  9. Every parent has the right to have fair and reasonable expectations with regard to the child welfare system; to have these expectations developed with, shared in writing with, and clearly explained to the parents in a manner they can understand, and receive the support needed to meet those expectations.
  10. Every parent whose child is involved in the child welfare system has the right to privacy (including keeping their records confidential unless they provide written parental consent), to access their own child and family records at any time at no cost, and to have their names expunged from any child protective services agency/central registry if there are no findings and/or after a reasonable amount of time after they have met all agency expectations.
  11. Every parent whose child is involved in the child welfare system has the right to convene a meeting within a reasonable amount of time (no later than a week) with the agency and interested parties.
  12. Every parent has the right to have their child/ren expeditiously placed with a family member or close family friend, identified in consultation with the parent, and have no “unreasonable” barriers placed in the way of having the child/ren placed with that family member or close family friend.
  13. Every parent whose child is involved in the child welfare system has the right to make decisions about their child’s education, health, mental health, religious education; be informed about the progress their child is making with regard to education, health and development, and about the people and/or services involved with their child; and accompany their child to school and medical visits, even while their child is in care.
  14. Every parent has the right to exercise their First Amendment rights, including the right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, without being penalized by the child welfare system.
  15. Every parent has the right to see and communicate with their child every day while their child is in care, at times and locations that are convenient to the parent and at no cost to the parent.

© 2009, National Coalition for Parent Advocacy in Child Protective Services

This document is a work in progress. We invite comments from parents,
advocates and agencies as we shape this Bill of Rights that will one day be incorporated into state and federal laws to improve the CPS system.

When you become a member, you will be able to use your username and password to logon to this site and make comments. We are looking forward to your feedback and partnership to achieve the vision and mission we all believe in.

 

https://strengthening-families.org/parentadvocacy/bill-of-rights.html

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Arizona Systemwide Online Resources for State Child Welfare Law and Policy

 

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (223 KB) of this publication.

Statutes:

Website for Statutes: http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp
Citations:

  • Adoption: Title 8, Chapter 1
  • Child Protection: Title 8, Chapter 10, Articles 1, 2
  • Child Welfare: Title 8, Chapter 5; Chapter 10, Articles 3-7; Chapter 11
  • Guardianship: Title 8, Chapter 10, Article 5; § 8-814
  • Youth Services: Title 8, Chapter 5, §§ 8-521 & 8-521.01

Regulation/Policy

Website for Administrative Code: http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Table_of_Contents.htm
Note:
See Title 6, Chapter 5, Articles 55, 56, 58-60, 65-67, 69, 70, 74, 75, 80; Chapter 18

Website for Agency Policies: https://extranet.azdes.gov/dcyfpolicy/external link
Note:
Children's Services Manual, including:

  • Chapter 15: Guardianship, including subsidized guardianship
  • Chapter 17: Independent Living Services

Other Resources

Arizona Court Rulesexternal link

Arizona Ombudsman

Tribal Codes available online:

(Back to Top)

Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (426 KB) of this publication.

Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-702(C)
In criminal law: An act of domestic violence, as defined in § 13-3601(A), that was committed in the presence of a child will be considered an aggravating circumstance.
Consequences
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-702(C)
An act of domestic violence committed in the presence of a child is considered an aggravating circumstance when determining a sentence and may result in a longer period of incarceration.

(Back to Top)

Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (439 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3620(A)-(B)

Any member of the clergy, priest, or Christian Science practitioner who reasonably believes that a minor is or has been the victim of injury, abuse, child abuse, a reportable offense, or neglect shall immediately report or cause a report to be made.

A member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest who has received a confidential communication or a confession in that person's role as a member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest in the course of the discipline enjoined by the church to which the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner, or priest belongs may withhold reporting of the communication or confession if the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner, or priest determines that it is reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion. This exemption applies only to the communication or confession and not to the personal observations the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner, or priest may otherwise make of the minor.

In any civil or criminal litigation in which a child's neglect, dependency, physical injury, abuse, child abuse, or abandonment is an issue, a member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest shall not, without his or her consent, be examined as a witness concerning any confession made to him or her in his or her role as a member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest in the course of the discipline enjoined by the church to which he or she belongs. This subsection does not discharge a member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner, or a priest from the duty to report as required above.

(Back to Top)

Cross-Reporting Among Responders to Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (325 KB) of this publication.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3620(H) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Reg. Sess.)

When telephone or in-person reports are received by a peace officer, the officer immediately shall notify child protective services in the Department of Economic Security and make the information available to them. Notwithstanding any other statute, when child protective services receives these reports by telephone or in person, it immediately shall notify a peace officer in the appropriate jurisdiction.

(Back to Top)

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (587 KB) of this publication.

Physical Abuse
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
'Abuse' means:

  • Inflicting or allowing physical injury, impairment of bodily function, or disfigurement
  • Physical injury that results from permitting a child to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic, or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug
  • Unreasonable confinement of a child

'Serious physical injury' means an injury that is diagnosed by a medical doctor and that does any one or a combination of the following:

  • Creates a reasonable risk of death
  • Causes serious or permanent disfigurement
  • Causes significant physical pain
  • Causes serious impairment of health
  • Causes the loss or protracted impairment of an organ or limb
  • Is the result of sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault, molestation of a child, child prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation, or incest

Neglect
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
'Neglect' or 'neglected' means:
  • The inability or unwillingness of a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to provide that child with supervision, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care if that inability or unwillingness causes unreasonable risk of harm to the child's health or welfare
  • Permitting a child to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic, or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purposes of manufacturing a dangerous drug
  • A determination by a health professional that a newborn infant was exposed prenatally to a drug or substance listed in § 13-3401 and that this exposure was not the result of a medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant by a health professional
  • A diagnosis by a health professional of an infant under age 1 with clinical findings consistent with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effects

The determination by a health professional of prenatal exposure to a controlled substance shall be based on one or more of the following:

  • Clinical indicators in the prenatal period, including maternal and newborn presentation
  • History of substance use or abuse
  • Medical history
  • Results of a toxicology or other laboratory test on the mother or the newborn infant

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
The term 'abuse' includes:
  • Inflicting or allowing sexual abuse
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Molestation of a child
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Incest
  • Child prostitution

The term 'neglect' includes:

  • Deliberate exposure of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian to sexual conduct, as defined in § 13-3551, or sexual contact, oral sexual contact, sexual intercourse, bestiality, or explicit sexual materials
  • Any of the following acts committed by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian with reckless disregard as to whether the child is physically present:
    • Sexual contact
    • Oral sexual contact
    • Sexual intercourse
    • Bestiality

Emotional Abuse
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
The term 'abuse' includes inflicting or allowing another person to cause serious emotional damage to a child, as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior, and such emotional damage is diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist, and the damage has been caused by the acts or omissions of an individual having care, custody, and control of a child.

'Serious emotional injury' means an injury that is diagnosed by a medical doctor or a psychologist and that does any one or a combination of the following:

  • Seriously impairs mental faculties
  • Causes serious anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or social dysfunction behavior to the extent that the child suffers dysfunction that requires treatment
  • Is the result of sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault, molestation of a child, child prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, or incest

Abandonment
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
'Abandoned' means:
  • The failure of the parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision
  • That a parent has made only minimal efforts to support and communicate with the child

Failure to maintain a normal parental relationship with the child without just cause for a period of 6 months shall constitute prima facie evidence of abandonment.
Standards for Reporting
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
A report is required when a person reasonably believes that a child is or has been the victim of physical injury, abuse, or child abuse.
Persons Responsible for the Child
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
Responsible persons include:

  • The parent
  • A person having care, custody, and control of a child

Exceptions
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-201
A dependent child does not include a child who, in good faith, is being furnished Christian Science treatment by a duly accredited practitioner.

A child is not considered neglected if a parent's inability to meet the needs of the child is due solely to the unavailability of reasonable services.

(Back to Top)

Definitions of Domestic Violence

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (533 KB) of this publication.

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 36-3001

'Domestic violence' means attempting to cause or causing bodily injury to a family or household member or placing a family or household member by threat of force in fear of imminent physical harm.
Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-801; 13-705

In civil law: In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, 'criminal conduct allegation' means an allegation of conduct by a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child that, if true, would constitute any of the following:

  • A violation of § 13-3623 involving child abuse
  • A felony offense that constitutes domestic violence, as defined in § 13-3601
  • Sexual abuse or assault of a minor
  • Sexual conduct with a minor or molestation of a child
  • Any other act of abuse that is classified as a felony
  • An offense that constitutes domestic violence as defined in § 13-3601 and that involves a minor who is a victim of or was in imminent danger during the domestic violence

In criminal law: 'Dangerous crime against children' means any of the following that is committed against a minor who is under age 15:

  • Second-degree murder
  • Aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injury or involving the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
  • Sexual assault
  • Molestation of a child
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual exploitation or commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Child abuse, as described in § 13-3623(A)(1)
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual abuse
  • Taking or luring a child for the purpose of prostitution or child prostitution
  • Involving or using minors in drug offenses
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Sex trafficking
  • Manufacturing methamphetamine under circumstances that cause physical injury to a minor
  • Bestiality
  • Luring a minor for sexual exploitation
  • Aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation
  • Unlawful age misrepresentation

Defined in Criminal Laws
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3601

'Domestic violence' means any act that constitutes one of the following offenses:
  • A dangerous crime against children
  • Homicide, murder, or manslaughter
  • Endangerment
  • A threatening or intimidating act
  • Assault
  • Custodial interference
  • Unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal trespass
  • Criminal damage
  • Interfering with judicial proceedings
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Intentionally preventing the use of a telephone by another person during an emergency
  • Use of an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend
  • Harassment
  • Aggravated harassment
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated domestic violence
  • Surreptitious photographing, videotaping, or filming
  • Child or vulnerable adult abuse
  • Emotional abuse

Persons Included in the Definition
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3601; 36-3001

In criminal law: An act listed above is considered domestic violence if any of the following applies:
  • The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
  • The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  • The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  • The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, stepgrandparent, stepchild, stepgrandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law.
  • The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
  • The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:
    • The type of relationship
    • The length of the relationship
    • The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant
    • If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination

In civil law: 'Family or household member' means a spouse, a former spouse, a parent, a child, or other adult person related by consanguinity or affinity who is residing or has resided in the household, or has a child or children in common with the person committing the domestic violence, and dependents of such persons.

(Back to Top)

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (651 KB) of this publication.

Confidentiality of Records
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-807
Child Protective Services (CPS) information shall be maintained by the Department of Economic Security as required by Federal law.

If the department receives information that is confidential by law, the department shall maintain the confidentiality of the information as prescribed in the applicable law.
Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records
Rev. Stat. § 8-807

If there is a reasonable need for the CPS information, the department may provide the information to:

  • A Federal, State, Tribal, county, or municipal agency
  • A law enforcement agency or prosecutor
  • An attorney or a guardian ad litem representing a child victim
  • A school
  • A community or contract service provider or any other person providing services
  • A court
  • A party in a dependency or termination of parental rights proceeding or the party's attorney
  • The foster care review board
  • A court-appointed special advocate
  • A person who is the subject of the information
  • A person who is conducting bona fide research
  • The parent, guardian, or custodian of a child if the information is reasonably necessary to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of the child
  • A medical examiner directing an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a death
  • Federal or State auditors
  • Persons conducting any accreditation deemed necessary by the department
  • A legislative committee for purposes of conducting investigations related to the legislative oversight of the department
  • A legislator who requests CPS information in the regular course of his or her duties
  • A citizen review panel, a child fatality review team, and the Office of Ombudsman-Citizen's Aide

The department shall provide the person who conducts a forensic medical evaluation with any records the person requests, including social history and family history regarding the child, the child's siblings, and the child's parents or guardians.

The department shall provide CPS information on request to a prospective adoptive parent, foster parent, or guardian if the information concerns a child the prospective adoptive parent, foster parent, or guardian seeks to adopt or provide care for.

A person who is the subject of an unfounded report or complaint, and who believes that the report or complaint was made in bad faith or with malicious intent may petition a judge of the superior court to order the department to release the CPS information. The petition shall specifically set forth reasons supporting the person's belief that the report or complaint was made in bad faith or with malicious intent. The court shall review the CPS information in camera and the person filing the petition shall be allowed to present evidence in support of the petition. If the court determines that there is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the report or complaint was made in bad faith or with malicious intent and that disclosure of the identity of the person making the report or complaint would not be likely to endanger the life or safety of the person making the report or complaint, it shall provide a copy of the CPS information to the person filing the petition. The original CPS information will then be subject to discovery in a subsequent civil action regarding the making of the report or complaint.

A person may authorize the release of CPS information about the person but may not waive the confidentiality of CPS information concerning any other person. The department may provide a summary of the outcome of a child protective services investigation to the person who reported the suspected child abuse or neglect.
When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-807(F)
The department may provide CPS information to confirm, clarify, or correct information concerning an allegation or actual instance of child abuse or neglect that has been made public by sources outside the department.

The department shall promptly provide CPS information to the public regarding a case of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect that has resulted in a fatality or near fatality as follows:

  • The department shall provide preliminary information including:
    • The name; age; and city, town, or general location of residence of the child who has suffered a near fatality or fatality
    • The fact that a child suffered a near fatality or fatality as the result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect
    • The name; age; and city, town, or general location of residence of the alleged perpetrator, if available
    • Whether there have been reports or any current or past cases of abuse, abandonment, or neglect involving the child and the current alleged abusive or neglectful parent, guardian, or custodian
    • Actions taken by child protective services in response to the fatality or near fatality of the child
  • On request by any person, the department shall promptly provide additional CPS information to the requestor. Before releasing additional CPS information, the department shall promptly notify the county attorney, and the county attorney shall promptly inform the department if it believes the release would cause a specific, material harm to a criminal investigation.
  • On request, the department shall continue to provide CPS information promptly to the public about a fatality or near fatality unless, after consultation with the county attorney, the county attorney demonstrates that release of particular CPS information would cause a specific, material harm to a criminal investigation.

Use of Records for Employment Screening
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-804
Information contained in the central registry shall be used by the department only for the following purposes:
  • To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for foster home licensing, adoptive parent certification, child care home certification, registration of unregulated child care homes with the child care resource and referral system, and home and community-based services certification for services to children
  • To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for persons applying for employment with this State in positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults and persons applying for contracts with this State, including employees of the potential contractor, for positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults

(Back to Top)

Establishment and Maintenance of Central Registries for Child Abuse Reports

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (332 KB) of this publication.

Establishment
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-804(A)
The Department of Economic Security shall maintain a central registry.
Purpose
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-804; 8-804.01
The records in the registry may be used:

  • To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for foster home licensing, adoptive parent certification, child care home certification, registration of unregulated child care homes with the child care resource and referral system, and home and community-based services certification for services to children
  • To conduct background checks as one factor to determine qualifications for persons applying for employment in positions that provide direct service to children or vulnerable adults
  • To identify and review reports concerning individual children and families, in order to facilitate the assessment of risk
  • To determine the nature and scope of child abuse and neglect in this State and to provide statewide statistical and demographic information concerning trends in child abuse and neglect
  • To allow comparisons of this State's statistical data with national data
  • To comply with § 8-804.01(B), which allows use of the records:
    • To assess the safety and risk to a child
    • To determine placement
    • To determine type and level of services
    • To assist in a criminal investigation
    • To meet Federal and State reporting requirements

Contents
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-804(A)-(B)
A finding made by a court pursuant to § 8-844(C) that a child is dependent based upon an allegation of abuse or neglect shall be recorded as a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect. The registry will maintain reports of child abuse and neglect that are substantiated and the outcome of investigations.
Maintenance
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-804; 8-804.01
If the department received a report before September 1, 1999, and determined that the report was substantiated, the department shall maintain the report in the central registry until 18 years from the child victim's date of birth.

If the department received a report on or after September 1, 1999, and determined that the report was substantiated, the department shall maintain the report in the central registry for 25 years after the date of the report.

All reports of child abuse and neglect and related records shall be maintained in the department's case management information system in accordance with the timeframes established in the department's records retention schedule.

(Back to Top)

Immunity for Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (481 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3620(J) (LexisNexis through 2011 Sess.)
Statute:

A person who furnishes a report, information, or records required or authorized under this section, or a person who participates in a judicial or administrative proceeding or investigation resulting from a report, information, or records required or authorized under this section, is immune from any civil or criminal liability by reason of that action, unless the person acted with malice or unless the person has been charged with or is suspected of abusing or neglecting the child or children in question.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-805(A) (LexisNexis through 2011 Sess.)
Statute:

Any person making a complaint, providing information, or otherwise participating in the program authorized by this article shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability by reason of such action, unless such person acted with malice or unless such person has been charged with or is suspected of abusing, abandoning, or neglecting the child or children in question.

(Back to Top)

Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (849 KB) of this publication.

Individual Responsibility to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
Any mandated reporter who reasonably believes that a minor is the victim of abuse or neglect shall report immediately to a peace officer or child protective services (CPS) in the Department of Economic Security. The report may be made by telephone or in person and must be followed by a written report within 72 hours.
Content of Reports
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
The reports shall contain:

  • The names and addresses of the minor and the minor's parents or the person having custody
  • The minor's age
  • The nature and extent of any injuries or neglect, including any evidence of previous injuries or neglect
  • Any other information that might be helpful

Reporting Suspicious Deaths
Citation:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
A health-care professional who, after a routine newborn physical assessment, believes that a newborn infant may be affected by the presence of alcohol or drugs shall immediately make a report to CPS.
Agency Receiving the Reports
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620(H); Admin. Code § R6-5-5502
When reports are received by a peace officer, the officer shall immediately notify CPS. When CPS receives a report, it shall immediately notify a peace officer in the appropriate jurisdiction.

In regulation: The department operates a Child Abuse Hotline to receive and screen incoming communications. If a person calls, visits, or writes a department office other than the Child Abuse Hotline to report child maltreatment, the department shall refer the person or written communication to the hotline.
Initial Screening Decisions
Citation: Admin. Code §§ R6-5-5502; 5504; 5506
When the hotline receives a call, staff shall determine the type of alleged maltreatment, whether to classify the call as a report for investigation, and check the central registry for prior reports on the same persons.

If a call is screened in as a report, the hotline staff shall gather additional information using standardized questions, determine whether there are aggravating or mitigating factors, and assign each report a priority code. Staff shall enter the report into the central registry and immediately transmit the report to a local office.

Upon receipt of a report, a CPS unit supervisor shall assign the case for a field investigation, alternative investigation, or alternative response, such as referral to Family Builders.
Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation
Citation: Admin. Code § R6-5-5505
To comply with the priority response time, entities other than CPS, such as law enforcement or emergency personnel, may initially respond to a report.
Assessment/Investigation Procedures
Citation: Admin. Code §§ R6-5-5507; 5508
An alternative investigation consists of contact with a mandatory reporter who is currently involved with the family. The information will determine if the child and other children residing in the home are current victims of maltreatment or at risk of imminent harm. If results indicate that an alleged victim is at risk of harm, the case shall be immediately assigned for field investigation.

When conducting a field investigation, a CPS specialist shall determine:

  • The name, age, location, and current physical and mental condition of all children in the home of the alleged victim
  • Whether any child in the home has suffered maltreatment
  • Whether any child in the home is at risk of maltreatment in the future

A CPS specialist shall interview the alleged victim; the alleged victim's caregiver who allegedly committed the abuse; other adults and children residing in the home; and other persons who may have relevant information, including the reporting source, medical personnel, relatives, neighbors, and school personnel. The CPS specialist also shall review available documentation including medical and psychiatric reports, police reports, school records, and prior CPS files or consult with law enforcement.

A CPS specialist may interview a child without prior parental consent under § 8-802(C)(2). A CPS specialist may exclude the alleged abuser from participating in an interview with the alleged victim, the alleged victim's siblings, or other children residing in the alleged victim's household.

Before interviewing a caregiver, a CPS specialist shall:

  • Orally inform the caregiver of the rights and duties under § 8-803(B)
  • Give the caregiver a written statement summarizing the same information
  • Ask the caregiver to sign a written acknowledgment of receipt of the information

Timeframes for Completing Investigations
Citation: Admin. Code § 56-5-5505
Priority codes and initial response times are:
  • Priority 1 High Risk:
    • Standard Response: 2 hours
    • Mitigated Response: 24 hours
  • Priority 2 Moderate Risk:
    • Standard Response: 48 hours
    • Aggravated Response: 24 hours
    • Mitigated Response: 72 hours
  • Priority 3 Low Risk:
    • Standard Response: 72 hours
    • Aggravated Response: 48 hours
    • Mitigated Response: 72 hours excluding weekends and Arizona State holidays
  • Priority 4 Potential Risk:
    • Standard Response: 7 days
    • Aggravated Response: 72 hours excluding weekends and Arizona State holidays

Classification of Reports
Citation: Admin. Code. § R6-5-5510
After completing an investigation and considering the information listed in R6-5-5509, a CPS specialist shall unsubstantiate the allegations or make a proposed finding that the allegation is substantiated based on whether the CPS specialist finds probable cause to believe maltreatment occurred.

(Back to Top)

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (763 KB) of this publication.

Professionals Required to Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
The following persons are required to report:

  • Physicians, physician's assistants, optometrists, dentists, behavioral health professionals, nurses, psychologists, counselors, or social workers
  • Peace officers, child welfare investigators, or child protective services workers
  • Members of the clergy, priests, or Christian Science practitioners
  • Parents, stepparents, or guardians
  • School personnel or domestic violence victim advocates
  • Any other person who has responsibility for the care or treatment of minors

Reporting by Other Persons
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
Any other person who reasonably believes that a minor is a victim of abuse or neglect may report.
Standards for Making a Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
A report is required when the reporter reasonably believes that a minor is a victim of abuse or neglect.
Privileged Communications
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 13-3620
Only the attorney-client and the clergy-penitent privileges are recognized.
Inclusion of Reporter's Name in Report
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
Disclosure of Reporter Identity
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.

(Back to Top)

Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (554 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3620(E) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Spec. Sess.)
Statute Text:

A health-care professional who, after a routine newborn physical assessment of a newborn infant's health status, or following notification of positive toxicology screens of a newborn infant, reasonably believes that the newborn infant may be affected by the presence of alcohol or a drug listed in § 13-3401 shall immediately report this information, or cause a report to be made, to Child Protective Services in the Department of Economic Security. For the purposes of this subsection, 'newborn infant' means a newborn infant who is under 30 days of age.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-201(2)(b) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Reg. Sess.)
Statute Text:

'Abuse' includes physical injury that results from permitting a child to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic, or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug, as defined in § 13-3401.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3623(C) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Spec. Sess.)
Statute Text:

For the purposes of subsections A and B of this section, the terms 'endangered' and 'abuse' include, but are not limited to, circumstances in which a child or vulnerable adult is permitted to enter or remain in any structure or vehicle in which volatile, toxic, or flammable chemicals are found or equipment is possessed by any person for the purpose of manufacturing a dangerous drug in violation of § 13-3407(A)(3) or (4).

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a violation committed under circumstances described in this subsection does not require that a person have care or custody of the child or vulnerable adult.

(Back to Top)

Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (416 KB) of this publication.

Failure to Report
Rev. Stat. § 13-3620(O)

A person who violates this section requiring the reporting of child abuse or neglect is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, except if the failure to report involves a reportable offense, in which case the person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
False Reporting
Rev. Stat. § 13-3620.01

A person acting with malice who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or neglect, or a person acting with malice who coerces another person to make a false report of child abuse or neglect, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A person who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report that another person made a false report is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(Back to Top)

Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (806 KB) of this publication.

Making The Appointment
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-221

In all juvenile court proceedings in which the dependency petition includes an allegation that the juvenile is abused or neglected, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to protect the juvenile's best interests. This guardian may be an attorney or a court-appointed special advocate.
The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-523; 8-524

The court-appointed special advocate program is established in the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court. The program shall establish local special advocate programs in each county.

The Supreme Court shall adopt rules prescribing the establishment of local programs and the minimum performance standards of these programs.

The court-appointed special advocate fund consists of moneys received pursuant to § 5-518 [from unclaimed prizes from the State lottery]. The fund is subject to annual legislative appropriation. Moneys appropriated by the legislature from the court-appointed special advocate fund for the court-appointed special advocate program shall be used by the Supreme Court to operate, improve, maintain, and enhance the program.
Qualifications/Training
Citation:

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Specific Duties
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-221

The GAL or attorney for a juvenile shall meet with the juvenile before the preliminary protective hearing, if possible, or within 14 days after the preliminary protective hearing. The GAL or attorney for the juvenile also shall meet with the juvenile before all substantive hearings. Upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances, the judge may modify this requirement for any substantive hearing.
How the Representative Is Compensated
Citation:

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

(Back to Top)

Review and Expunction of Central Registries and Reporting Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (331 KB) of this publication.

Right of the Reported Person to Review and Challenge Records
Rev. Stat. § 8-811

The Department of Economic Security shall notify a person who is alleged to have abused or neglected a child that the department intends to substantiate the allegation in the central registry and of that person's right:

  • To receive a copy of the report containing the allegation
  • To a hearing before the entry into the central registry

If a request for a hearing is made, the department shall conduct a review before the hearing. The department shall provide an opportunity for the accused person to provide information to support the position that the department should not substantiate the allegation. If the department determines that there is no probable cause that the accused person engaged in the alleged conduct, the department shall amend the information or finding in the report and shall notify the person and a hearing shall not be held.

The notification shall also state that if the department does not amend the information or finding in the report within 60 days after it receives the request for a hearing, the person has a right to a hearing unless:

  • The person is a party in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding in which the allegations of abuse or neglect are at issue.
  • A court or administrative law judge has made findings as to the alleged abuse or neglect.
  • A court has found, pursuant to § 8-844(C), that a child is dependent based upon an allegation of abuse or neglect.

If the department does not amend the report, the department shall notify the office of administrative hearings of the request for a hearing no later than 5 days after completion of the review. The department shall forward all records, reports, and other relevant information with the request for a hearing within 10 days. The office of administrative hearings shall hold a hearing, with the following exceptions:

  • A child who is the victim of or a witness to abuse or neglect is not required to testify at the hearing.
  • A child's hearsay statement is admissible if the time, content, and circumstances of that statement are sufficiently indicative of its reliability.
  • The identity of the reporting source of the abuse or neglect shall not be disclosed without the permission of the reporting source.
  • The reporting source is not required to testify.
  • A written statement from the reporting source may be admitted if the time, content, and circumstances of that statement are sufficiently indicative of its reliability.
  • If the person requesting the hearing fails to appear, the hearing shall be vacated and a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect entered. On good cause shown, the hearing may be rescheduled if the request is made within 15 days of the notice vacating the hearing for failure to appear.

On completion of the presentation of evidence, the administrative law judge shall determine if probable cause exists to sustain the department's finding that the parent, guardian, or custodian abused or neglected the child. If the judge determines that probable cause does not exist to sustain the department's finding, the judge shall order the department to amend the finding in the report.

When the department is requested to verify whether the central registry contains a substantiated report about a specific person, the department shall determine if the report was taken after January 1, 1998. If the report was taken after January 1, 1998, the department shall notify the requestor of the substantiated finding.

If the report was taken before January 1, 1998, the department shall notify the person of the person's right to request an administrative hearing. The department shall not send this notification if the person was a party in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding in which the allegations of abuse or neglect were at issue.
When Records Must Be Expunged
Rev. Stat. § 8-804

If the Department of Economic Security received a report before September 1, 1999, and determined that the report was substantiated, the department shall maintain the report in the central registry until 18 years from the child victim's date of birth.

If the department received a report on or after September 1, 1999, and determined that the report was substantiated, the department shall maintain the report in the central registry for 25 years after the date of the report.

The department shall annually purge reports and investigative outcomes received pursuant to the timeframes prescribed above.

Any person who was the subject of a child protective services investigation may request confirmation that the department has purged information about the person from the central registry. On receipt of this request, the department shall provide the person with written confirmation that the department has no record containing identifying information about that person.

(Back to Top)

Child Welfare

Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (696 KB) of this publication.

When Case Plans Are Required
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-806; Children's Services Manual, Ch. 9, § 1
When a child has been accepted into a voluntary placement, the department must develop a case plan within 10 days.

In regulation: Every child and family receiving ongoing services from the Department of Children, Youth, and Families shall have an individualized family-centered case plan, consistent with the requirements of Federal and State law. The department shall conduct a case plan staffing within 60 days of case opening for all cases open for more than 60 days or within 10 working days of a child's placement into voluntary foster care.
Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-806; Children's Services Manual, Ch. 9, § 1
The department must develop a case plan with the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

In regulation: The department shall encourage the participation of parents, children, out-of-home care providers, and when appropriate, extended family members in the case planning process.

All members of the service team shall be invited to participate in the case plan staffing. Parents, children age 12 or older, and out-of-home care providers shall be members of the service team. To every extent possible, and when appropriate, extended family members may also participate as members of the service team.
Contents of a Case Plan
Rev. Stat. § 8-806; Children's Services Manual, Ch. 9, § 1

The case plan shall establish the services necessary to promote the safety of the child on the planned return of the child to the parent, guardian, custodian, or alternative placement.

In regulation: The family-centered case plan shall be a discrete document that includes the following components:

  • The child's safety plan, specifying ongoing actions that will be taken to ensure the child's continued safety at home and demonstrating that the child's health and safety are of paramount concern
  • The permanency goal for the child, and expected date of achievement
  • The family intervention plan specifying for all parents (whose parental rights have not been terminated) and guardians the kinds of services and supports that will be offered to the family in order to achieve the case plan permanency goal
  • The out-of-home care plan, specifying for every child in out-of-home care the most recent information available regarding:
    • The child's special needs
    • The name and address of the child's school
    • The child's educational status
    • How the placement type meets those needs
    • Services provided to the child
    • Services provided to the caregiver to help meet the child's needs
    • Actions the CPS Specialist will take to ensure safety in the out-of-home setting
    • When applicable, tasks and services to achieve a concurrent permanency goal or a permanency goal other than family reunification
    • For any child placed substantially distant from the parent's home or out-of-State, the reason the placement is in the best interests of the child
  • The health-care plan, specifying for each child the most recent information available regarding the child's health status
  • The contact and visitation plan, specifying for every child in out-of-home care the plan for frequent and consistent visitation between the child and the child's parents, siblings, family members, other relatives, friends, and any former (family) resource family, especially those with whom the child has developed a strong attachment
  • Specific documentation of how the family and other team members actively participated in the development of the plan

Permanency goal options include reunification, adoption, legal guardianship, and another planned living arrangement. A concurrent permanency plan is included for children who have been assessed as unlikely to reunify with their parent within 12 months of the child's initial removal.

(Back to Top)

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (295 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-845(D) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Reg. Sess.)
Statute Text:

Notwithstanding § 8-845(C) [that requires the court to reunify the family if possible], reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to reunify the family.

(Back to Top)

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (772 KB) of this publication.

Schedule of Hearings
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-847; 8-862
After the disposition hearing, the court shall hold periodic review hearings at least once every 6 months as required by Federal law.

The court shall hold a permanency hearing to determine the future permanent legal status of the child:

  • Within 30 days after the disposition hearing if the court does not order reunification services
  • Within 6 months after a child who is under age 3 is removed from the child's home
  • In all other cases, within 12 months after the child is removed from the child's home

If the court determines that the child should remain in out-of-home placement longer than 18 months from the date of the permanency order, the court shall conduct a review of the order at least once each year. After reviewing the order, the court may reaffirm the order or direct other disposition of the child.
Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-847
The following persons shall be provided notice of the review and the right to participate in the proceeding:

  • The agency charged with the child's care and custody
  • Any foster parents in whose home the child resided within the last 6 months
  • A shelter care facility or receiving foster home where the child resides or has resided within the last 6 months for more than 30 days
  • The child's parent or guardian, unless the parental rights of that parent or guardian have been terminated
  • The child, if age 12 or older
  • The child's relative, if the relative files a written notice of right of participation with the court
  • A person permitted by the court to intervene as a party in the dependency proceeding
  • A physical custodian of the child within the preceding 6 months
  • Any person who has filed a petition to adopt or who has physical custody pursuant to a foster-adoptive placement
  • Any other person as the court may direct

Determinations Made at Hearings
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-845; 8-862
In reviewing the status of the child, the court shall consider the health and safety of the child as a paramount concern and the following criteria:
  • The goals of the placement and the appropriateness of the case plan
  • The services that have been offered to reunite the family
  • If returning the child home is not likely, the efforts that have been or should be made to evaluate or plan for other permanent placement plans
  • The efforts that have been made or should be made to place the child with the child's siblings or to provide frequent visitation or contact when placement with siblings has not been possible

The court shall review the permanent plan that has been established for the child. In reviewing the status of the child, the court, insofar as possible, shall seek to reunite the family. If the court does not order reunification of the family, the court shall order a plan of adoption or another permanent plan that is in the child's best interests and that takes into consideration the placement of the child with siblings or that provides for frequent visitation or contact among siblings unless the court determines that either the placement with the siblings or the visitation or contact would be contrary to the child's or a sibling's safety or well-being.

At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine:

  • Whether termination of parental rights, adoption, permanent guardianship, or some other permanent legal status is the most appropriate plan for the child
  • Whether reasonable efforts have been made to finalize the permanency plan in effect
  • What efforts have been made in the permanency plan to place the child with the child's siblings or to provide frequent visitation or contact, unless the court had already determined that placement with all or any siblings or visitation or contact is not possible or would be contrary to the child's or a sibling's safety or well-being

Permanency Options
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-845; 8-862
The court may order any of the following:
  • Return to the child's parent
  • Placement with a grandparent or other member of the child's extended family, including a person who has a significant relationship with the child, unless the court determines that such placement is not in the child's best interests
  • Adoption
  • Placement with a suitable institution, association, or school
  • Independent living
  • Placement with any adult as a permanent guardian

For the purposes of this subsection, a prospective permanent placement includes:

  • A grandparent or another member of the child's extended family including a person who has a significant relationship with the child
  • A person or persons with an expressed interest in being the permanent placement for the child in a certified adoptive home where the child resides, a home that is a permanent placement for a sibling of the child, or a licensed family foster home where the child resides

(Back to Top)

Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (589 KB) of this publication.

Requirements for Foster Parents
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-509; 41-1758.07
The division shall not issue a license unless each foster parent and each other adult member of the household has a valid fingerprint clearance card issued pursuant to § 41-1758.07. The foster parent and each adult member of the household must certify on forms provided by the division and notarized whether the foster parent or other adult members of the household are awaiting trial or have ever been convicted of any of the criminal offenses listed in § 41-1758.07(B)-(C) in this State or similar offenses in another State or jurisdiction, including:

  • Sexual abuse, exploitation, or molestation of a child or vulnerable adult
  • Incest
  • Homicide, including murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide
  • Sexual assault
  • Child prostitution
  • Child abuse or felony child neglect
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Dangerous crimes against children
  • Exploitation of minors involving drug offenses
  • Taking a child for the purpose of prostitution
  • Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult
  • Production, publication, sale, possession, and presentation of obscene items
  • Furnishing harmful items to minors
  • Furnishing harmful items to minors by Internet activity
  • Obscene or indecent telephone communications to minors for commercial purposes
  • Pandering
  • Transporting persons for the purpose of prostitution, polygamy, and concubinage
  • Any felony offense involving contributing to the delinquency of a minor
  • Unlawful sale or purchase of children
  • Child bigamy
  • Any felony offense involving domestic violence
  • Felony drug- or alcohol-related offenses if committed within the past 5 years
  • Felony indecent exposure
  • Terrorism

Requirements for Adoptive Parents
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-105(D) & (E); 8-112(B)(6) & (7)
A fingerprint-based Federal and State criminal records check is required for a prospective adoptive parent and any adult household members, except a birth or legal parent with custody of the child, as part of the investigation for preadoption certification.

The prospective adoptive parent must certify on forms that are provided by the division and notarized whether the prospective adoptive parent is awaiting trial on or has ever been convicted of any of the criminal offenses listed in § 41-1758.07(B)-(C) [see above] in this State or similar offenses in another State or jurisdiction.

A central registry records check, including any history of child welfare referrals, is required for a prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent as part of the court's social study.

(Back to Top)

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (397 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 8-845(B) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Reg. Sess.)
Statute Text:

In reviewing the status of the child and in determining its order of disposition, the court shall consider the health and safety of the child as a paramount concern.

Citation: Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 8-847(D) (LexisNexis through 2012 2nd Reg. Sess.)
Statute Text:

At any periodic review hearing, the court shall consider the health and safety of the child as a paramount concern.

(Back to Top)

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (652 KB) of this publication.

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights
Rev. Stat. § 8-533

Grounds to terminate the parent-child relationship shall include any of the following, with due consideration for the best interests of the child:

  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The parent has neglected or willfully abused a child.
  • The parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities because of mental illness, mental deficiency, or a history of chronic abuse of dangerous drugs or alcohol, and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the condition will continue for a prolonged period.
  • The parent has been convicted of a felony of such nature as to prove the unfitness of that parent, including murder or manslaughter of another child of the parent, or if the sentence of that parent is of such length that the child will be deprived of a normal home for a period of years.
  • The potential father failed to file a paternity action within 30 days of completion of service of notice as prescribed in § 8-106(G).
  • The putative father failed to file a notice of claim of paternity.
  • The parents have relinquished their rights to a child to an agency or have consented to the adoption.
  • The identity of the parent is unknown and continues to be unknown following 3 months of diligent efforts to identify and locate the parent.
  • The parent has had parental rights to another child terminated within the preceding 2 years for the same cause and is currently unable to discharge parental responsibilities due to the same cause.

The following may also be grounds for termination of parental rights:

  • The child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement, the agency responsible for the child's care has made a diligent effort to provide appropriate reunification services, and one of the following circumstances exists:
    • The child has been in an out-of-home placement for a cumulative total period of 9 months or longer, and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances that cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement.
    • The child who is under age 3 has been in an out-of-home placement for a cumulative total period of 6 months or longer, and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances that cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement, including refusal to participate in reunification services offered by the department.
    • The child has been in an out-of-home placement for a cumulative total period of 15 months, the parent has been unable to remedy the circumstances that cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement, and there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not be capable of exercising proper and effective parental care and control in the near future.
  • All of the following are true:
    • The child was cared for in an out-of-home placement pursuant to court order.
    • The agency responsible for the care of the child made diligent efforts to provide appropriate reunification services.
    • The child was returned to the legal custody of the parent from whom the child had been removed.
    • Within 18 months after the child was returned, the child was removed from that parent's legal custody, the child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement, and the parent is currently unable to discharge parental responsibilities.

The failure of an alleged parent who is not the child's legal parent to take a test requested by the department or ordered by the court to determine if the person is the child's natural parent is prima facie evidence of abandonment unless good cause is shown by the alleged parent for that failure.
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

(Back to Top)

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (1050 KB) of this publication.

Who May Apply
Citation: Admin. Code R6-5-5823; R6-5-5824
To qualify for and maintain licensure as a foster parent, a person shall meet the following criteria:

  • The person shall be at least age 21 at the time of application.
  • The person shall have sufficient income to meet the needs of his or her own household.
  • The applicant and adult household members shall be free of conviction, indictment for, or involvement in the criminal offenses listed in R6-5-5802(C).
  • The applicant and household members shall not have any physical or mental health conditions that preclude compliance with foster care requirements.
  • An applicant's household members shall agree to and support the decision to provide foster care.

To qualify for and maintain licensure as a foster parent, a person shall be a responsible, stable, emotionally mature individual who can exercise sound judgment. A person shall demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • The ability to realistically determine which foster children the person can accept and successfully integrate into his or her family
  • Knowledge of child development, nutrition, and health
  • The willingness and ability to protect children from harm
  • Knowledge and understanding of children
  • The capacity to give and receive affection and enjoyment in being a parent
  • Flexibility in expectations, attitudes, behavior, and use of help when it is needed
  • The ability to deal with separation, loss, frustration, and conflict
  • The capacity to respect persons with differing life styles and philosophies and persons of different races, cultures, and religious beliefs
  • The ability to accept a foster child's relationship with the child's parent and birth family
  • The willingness and ability to commit the time necessary to provide a foster child with supervision and guidance in accordance with a foster child's individual needs

Training Requirements
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-509; Admin. Code R6-5-5825
The foster parent or parents are required to complete 6 actual hours of approved initial foster parent training. For license renewal, the foster parent or parents must complete 6 actual hours of approved ongoing foster parent training.

In regulation: Before receiving an initial license, an applicant shall complete at least 12 clock hours of initial foster parent training. The training shall cover at least the following subjects:

  • Characteristics and needs of foster children
  • The role of the foster parent as a member of the care and treatment team
  • The importance of birth parent and family involvement in a child's life
  • Methods for appropriately addressing the child's cultural, ethnic, and religious needs
  • Attachment, separation, and loss issues
  • Behavior management
  • Confidentiality
  • Emergency procedures
  • Available resources and support services
  • Foster care payment procedure
  • Agency contact persons and procedures
  • The impact of fostering on the foster parent and the foster parent's own family
  • Addressing the impacts of foster parenting
  • Specialized topics related to child welfare, health, growth, or development
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978

Each licensing year, prior to license renewal, a foster parent shall attend and complete at least 6 clock hours of ongoing training. Annual training may include:

  • Advanced training in the subjects listed above
  • Special subjects relating to child health, growth, or development, including:
    • Child management techniques based on the developmental needs of children in care
    • Discipline, crisis intervention, and behavior management techniques
  • Review of agency policies

Minimum Standards for Foster Homes
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-504; Admin. Code R6-5-5838; R6-5-5842; R6-5-5843
The division shall visit each foster home and inspect the premises used for care of children for sanitation, fire, and other actual and potential hazards.

In regulation: The foster home parent shall:

  • Keep the foster home safe, in good repair, and sanitary
  • Keep the outside area around the foster home free from objects, materials, and conditions that constitute a danger to the occupants

If the foster parent provides care to a child with special physical needs, the foster parent shall equip the foster home with any equipment needed to accommodate the particular child's special needs.

A foster parent shall provide safe sleeping arrangements that accommodate the privacy needs of a foster child.

  • The foster family and a foster child shall sleep in bedrooms. An unfinished attic, a basement area, or a space normally and primarily used for passageways and purposes other than sleeping are not bedrooms.
  • A bedroom in the foster home shall have a finished ceiling, floor-to-ceiling permanently affixed walls, a door, finished flooring, light, ventilation, and a usable exit to the outdoors.
  • A foster parent shall provide each foster child with a bed. The bed shall be appropriate to a child's age and needs.
  • A foster parent shall not allow a foster child who is age 6 or older to share a bedroom with a child of the opposite gender.
  • Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a foster child who is a minor parent may share a room with her own child.

A foster home shall have at least one toilet, one washbasin, and one bathtub or shower. A foster home bathroom shall have interior plumbing with both warm and cold water.
Approval Process
Citation: Admin. Code R6-5-5802
An application shall include:

  • Personally identifying information on the applicant, all household members, and children who do not live with the applicant
  • The applicant's financial assets, obligations, and income
  • Medical statements for the applicant and any adult household member
  • Immunization records for each child household member
  • Employment information
  • Family relationships and support systems
  • A description of daily routines, activities, and hobbies
  • A description of any spiritual or religious beliefs and practices observed in the applicant's home
  • Information on administrative or judicial proceedings in which the applicant has been or is a party
  • The name, address, and telephone number of at least five references who can attest to the applicant's character and ability to care for children
  • A description of the applicant's home and neighborhood
  • A statement as to the number and characteristics of foster children the applicant would consider for placement
  • A description of the applicant's prior experience, if any, as a foster parent
  • A description of the applicant's prior history of adoption certification, if any
  • A description of the applicant's child care experience and child-rearing practices
  • A statement regarding the applicant's motivation for becoming a foster parent
  • A statement describing how all other household members feel about the decision to foster children
  • A statement authorizing the licensing agency to:
    • Verify the information contained in the application
    • Perform background checks on the applicant and the applicant's household members
    • Conduct a health and safety inspection of the applicant's home

Grounds for Withholding Approval
Citation: Admin Code. R6-5-5819; R6-6-5802(C)
A license may be denied when an applicant:
  • Is not in compliance with foster care requirements
  • Fails to provide information required by these rules
  • Misrepresents or fails to disclose material information regarding qualifications or experience
  • Is unable to meet the physical, emotional, social, educational, or psychological needs of children

A license shall be denied when an applicant or household member has been convicted of the criminal offenses listed below. A license may be denied if the applicant or household member is a person who has a record of substantiated or undetermined child maltreatment in this State or any other jurisdiction.

The applicant and all adult household members shall submit to fingerprinting and a criminal history check. On a form provided by the department, the applicant and each adult household member shall certify whether he or she has ever committed of any of the following criminal offenses:

  • Sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult
  • Incest
  • Murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, or arson
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor or vulnerable adult
  • Felony offenses within the previous 10 years involving the manufacture or distribution of marijuana or dangerous or narcotic drugs
  • Robbery or theft
  • A dangerous crime against children as defined in § 13-604.01
  • Child abuse or neglect or abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Molestation of a child or vulnerable adult
  • Aggravated assault
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor

Kinship Foster Care
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-514.03
The department shall establish kinship foster care services for a child who has been removed from the child's home and is in the custody of the department. The program shall promote the placement of the child with the child's relative for kinship foster care.

A kinship foster care parent applicant who is not a licensed foster care parent shall be at least age 18. The applicant and each member of the applicant's household who is at least age 18 shall submit a full set of fingerprints to the department for the purpose of obtaining a State and Federal criminal records check. The Department of Public Safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the FBI. The department shall determine if the applicant is able to meet the child's health and safety needs by conducting one or more home visits and interviewing the applicant. The department may interview other household members, review the applicant's personal and professional references, and conduct Child Protective Services central registry checks.
Foster to Adopt
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-112(E); Admin. Code R6-5-6620
If the child being considered for adoption has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least 6 months and the prospective adoptive parent is a foster parent who is licensed by this State, the social study may consist only of the following:

  • The results of the central registry records check
  • A review of any material changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous license renewal that affect the prospective adoptive parent's ability to adopt the child or for the child to be placed in the prospective adoptive parent's home

In regulation: When a foster parent plans to adopt a foster child who is age 5 or older, a case worker from the adoption entity shall privately interview the child and all members of the adoptive family household who are age 5 or older about their feelings toward the adoption, before the adoption consent is signed.

When a child is placed for adoption with a person who has been a foster parent to the child, a case manager from the adoption entity shall conduct home visits at least every 2 months from the time legal consent for adoption has been signed until the finalization of adoption. If the adoptive child is a child with special needs, the case manager shall visit at least once a month.
Interjurisdictional Approval
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-548; Admin. Code R6-5-8008
Placements of children in or from another State are subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

In regulation: Approval must be obtained from the Compact Administrators in both the sending and receiving States prior to the placement of a child in another compact member State.
Links to Resources
Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Children, Youth and Families, 'Steps To Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent'

State regulations full text (PDF- 133 KB)

(Back to Top)

Infant Safe Haven Laws

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (556 KB) of this publication.

Infant's Age
Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01
A newborn infant may be relinquished. The term 'newborn infant' means an infant who is 72 hours old or younger.
Who May Relinquish the Infant
Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01
The child may be relinquished by the parent or an agent of the parent.
Who May Receive the Infant
Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01
The child may be left with a designated safe haven provider. A safe haven provider includes any of the following:

  • A firefighter who is on duty
  • An emergency medical technician who is on duty
  • A medical staff member at a general hospital or a rural general hospital
  • A staff member or volunteer at any of the following organizations that posts a public notice that it is willing to accept a newborn infant:
    • A licensed private child welfare agency
    • A licensed adoption agency
    • A church

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider
Rev. Stat. §§ 13-3623.01; 8-528
If a parent or an agent of a parent voluntarily delivers the parent's newborn infant to a safe haven provider, the safe haven provider shall take custody of the newborn infant if both of the following are true:
  • The parent did not express an intent to return for the newborn infant.
  • The safe haven provider reasonably believes that the child is a newborn infant.

The safe haven provider shall immediately transport the infant to a hospital for a physical examination.

If the infant is left with a private child welfare or adoption agency and the agency has the ability to place the infant for adoption, the agency shall inform child protective services that it will take custody of the infant within 24 hours. If the agency cannot place the infant for adoption, it shall inform child protective services that it will not take custody of the infant.

If an infant is left with a church and the church is affiliated with a private adoption agency, the provider must immediately inform child protective services that an infant has been left at the church, the location of the hospital where the church transported the infant, and whether a private adoption agency will take custody of the infant.

If the church is not affiliated with a private adoption agency or the agency cannot place the infant for adoption, child protective services shall contact the next private adoption agency on its rotating list of agencies until it contacts an agency that agrees to take custody of the infant. The adoption agency must take custody of the infant from the hospital within 24 hours.

If an infant is left with a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or a hospital staff member, the safe haven provider shall immediately contact child protective services to inform it that an infant has been left and of the location of the hospital where the safe haven provider transported the infant.
Immunity for the Provider
Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01
A safe haven provider who receives a newborn infant is not liable for any civil or other damages for any act or omission by the safe haven provider in maintaining custody of the newborn infant if the safe haven provider acts in good faith without gross negligence.
Protection for Relinquishing Parent
Rev. Stat. § 13-3623.01
A person is not guilty of abuse of a child solely for leaving an unharmed newborn infant with a safe haven provider.

A parent or agent of a parent who leaves a newborn infant with a safe haven provider may remain anonymous, and the safe haven provider shall not require the parent or agent to answer any questions.
Effect on Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

(Back to Top)

Placement of Children With Relatives

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (627 KB) of this publication.

Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-501; 8-514.02; 8-514.03
The Department of Economic Security may place a child with a parent or relative. The term 'relative' means a grandparent, great-grandparent, brother or sister of whole-blood or half-blood, aunt, uncle, or first cousin.

The department shall establish kinship foster care services for a child who has been removed from the child's home and is in the custody of the department. The program shall promote the placement of the child with the child's relative for kinship foster care.
Requirements for Placement with Relatives
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-514.03
A kinship foster care parent applicant who is not a licensed foster care parent shall be at least age 18. The applicant and each member of the applicant's household who is at least age 18 shall submit a full set of fingerprints to the department for the purpose of obtaining a State and Federal criminal records check pursuant to § 41-1750 and Public Law 92-544. The Department of Public Safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Department of Economic Security shall determine if the applicant is able to meet the child's health and safety needs by conducting one or more home visits and interviewing the applicant.

The department may interview other household members, review the applicant's personal and professional references, and conduct Child Protective Services central registry checks.

A kinship foster care parent may be eligible to receive the following financial services for the child:

  • Full foster care benefits, including payment if the kinship foster care parent becomes a licensed foster care home
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance payments for a child only for case and supplemental financial support

The department shall provide nonfinancial services for a kinship foster care parent through existing means or referral. Nonfinancial services may include:

  • Family assessment and case management
  • Child care
  • Housing search and relocation
  • Parenting skills training
  • Supportive intervention and guidance counseling
  • Transportation and emergency services
  • Parent aid and respite services
  • Additional services that the department determines are necessary to meet the needs of the child and family

Requirements for Placement of Siblings
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-513(D)
If a child has been removed from the child's home and placed in out-of-home placement, guardianship, or adoptive placement, the department shall make reasonable efforts to place that child with the child's siblings or, if that is not possible, to maintain frequent visits or other ongoing contact between the child and the child's siblings, unless a court determines that either the placement or the visits or contact would be contrary to the child's or a sibling's safety or well-being.
Relatives Who May Adopt
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-105; 8-108
A relative who may adopt the child includes an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child by whole-blood or half-blood or by marriage.
Requirements for Adoption by Relatives
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-105; 8-108
Before any prospective adoptive parent may petition to adopt a child the person shall be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. A certificate shall be issued only after an investigation conducted by an officer of the court, by an agency, or by the division. This section does not apply if the prospective adoptive parent is the spouse of the birth or legal parent of the child to be adopted or is an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child by whole-blood or half-blood or by marriage or adoption.

A person who is not currently certified as acceptable to adopt but who has custody of a child who the person intends to adopt shall petition the court for an order permitting that person to keep custody of the child pending certification. If the court permits the person to continue to have custody of the child, the court shall order the investigation to continue for preadoption certification and report as required by § 8-105.

A custody petition or hearing is not required if the person who intends to adopt the child is:

  • The spouse of a birth or legal parent of the child
  • An uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child by whole-blood or half-blood or by marriage

(Back to Top)

Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (539 KB) of this publication.

What Are Reasonable Efforts
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-801; 8-891
'In-home intervention' means a program of services provided pursuant to § 8-891 while the child is still in the custody of the parent, guardian, or custodian.

After a dependency petition is filed, the court may order in-home intervention if all of the following are true:

  • The child has not been removed from the home.
  • In-home intervention appears likely to resolve the risk issues described below.
  • The parent, guardian, or custodian agrees to a case plan and participation in services.
  • One of the following conditions exist:
    • The child is at risk of harm due to the inability or unwillingness of the parent, guardian, or custodian to provide food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
    • The parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide proper care, control, and supervision of the child.

The in-home intervention order may include a training or treatment plan for the parent, guardian, or custodian and the child. The in-home intervention shall include a specific time for completion that shall not exceed 1 year without review and approval by the court.

The term 'protective services' is defined as a specialized child welfare program that is administered by the department to investigate allegations and seek to prevent, intervene in, and treat abuse and neglect to promote the well-being of the child in a permanent home and to coordinate services to strengthen the family.
When Reasonable Efforts Are Required
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-846
If the child has been removed from the home, the court shall order the protective services department to make reasonable efforts to provide services to the child and the child's family.
When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-846
Reunification services are not required if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that one of the following aggravated circumstances exist:

  • The parent cannot be identified or located.
  • The parent suffers from a mental illness that will likely prevent the parent from resuming care of the child within 12 months.
  • The child previously was removed and adjudicated dependent due to physical or sexual abuse. After the adjudication, the child was returned to the custody of the parent and then subsequently removed within 18 months due to additional physical or sexual abuse.
  • The child has suffered severe physical or emotional injury by the parent or a person known to the parent.
  • A child was removed from the parent on at least two previous occasions, reunification services were offered or provided after the removal, and the parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities.
  • The parent's rights to another child were terminated, and the conditions that led to the termination were not remedied.
  • The parent was convicted of murder, manslaughter, sexual abuse, sexual assault, molestation, or sexual exploitation of a child, or aiding or abetting any such crimes.

The court shall consider any criminal prosecution relating to the offenses that led to the child's removal from the home and any orders of the criminal court. Information may be provided by law enforcement or the county attorney.

If a dependency petition was filed pursuant to § 8-874(J), the court may direct the division not to provide reunification services to the child's parents unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that these services would be in the child's best interests.

(Back to Top)

Standby Guardianship

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (354 KB) of this publication.

Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian
Citation:
These issues are not addressed in statutes reviewed.
How to Establish a Standby Guardian
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
How Standby Authority is Activated
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.
Withdrawing Guardianship
Not addressed in statutes reviewed.

(Back to Top)

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (541 KB) of this publication.

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-129
The following persons may have access to family information:

  • The adoptive parents or a guardian of the adopted person
  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • If the adopted person has died, the adopted person's spouse if he or she is the legal parent of the adopted person's child or the guardian of any child of the adopted person
  • If the adopted person has died, any child of the adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parents or other birth children of the birth parents

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-121; 8-129
Nonidentifying information may be released upon request to any of the persons listed above. Nonidentifying information may include the health and genetic history of the birth parents and members of the birth parents' families.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-121
Court personnel, the division, an attorney assisting in a direct placement adoption, or an agency may provide partial or complete identifying information between a birth parent and adoptive parent when the parties mutually agree to share specific identifying information and make a written request to the court, the division, or the agency.

A person may petition the court to obtain information relating to an adoption in the possession of the court, the division, or any agency or attorney involved in the adoption. The court shall not release identifying information unless the person requesting the information has established a compelling need for disclosure or consent has been obtained.

An adopted person age 18 or older or a birth parent may file at any time with the court and the agency, division, or attorney who participated in the adoption a notarized statement granting consent, withholding consent, or withdrawing a consent previously given for the release of confidential information. If an adopted person who is 18 or older and the birth mother or birth father have filed consent to the release of confidential information, the court may disclose the information, except identifying information relating to a birth parent who did not grant written consent.
Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 36-337
The original birth certificate can be made available only upon a court order or as prescribed by rule.
Where the Information Can Be Located
Arizona Confidential Intermediary Program, Arizona Supreme Court

(Back to Top)

Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (617 KB) of this publication.

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-129
The division, agency, or person placing the child shall compile the information.
Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-112
The social study shall include the social history, heritage, and mental and physical condition of the child and the child's birth parents.
Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-129
The report shall contain detailed, written, nonidentifying information including a health and genetic history and all nonidentifying information about the birth parents or members of a birth parent's family.
When the Report Is Made
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-129
The report is compiled and provided to the prospective adoptive parents before the child is placed for adoption.
Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-112
A social study is not required if either of the following is true:

  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child's stepparent who has been legally married to the child's birth or legal parent for at least 1 year, and the child has resided with the stepparent and parent for at least 1 year.
  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child's adult sibling, by whole or half blood, or the child's aunt, uncle, grandparent, or great-grandparent, and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least 1 year.

(Back to Top)

Consent to Adoption

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (742 KB) of this publication.

Who Must Consent to an Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(A), (C)

The court shall not grant an adoption of a child unless consent to adopt has been obtained and filed with the court from the following:

  • The birth or adoptive mother
  • The father if he:
    • Was married to the mother at the time of conception
    • Is the adoptive father
    • Has otherwise established paternity
  • Any guardian of the child or agency that has been given the child to place for adoption
  • The guardian of an adult parent if one has been appointed

Minority of the parent does not affect competency to consent.
Consent of Child Being Adopted
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(A)

A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption in open court.
When Parental Consent is not Needed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(B), (J)

It is not necessary for a person to obtain consent to adopt from the following:

  • An adult parent for whom a guardian is currently appointed
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by court order
  • A parent who has previously consented to an agency's or the division's placement of the child for adoption

A potential father who fails to file a paternity action and who does not comply with all applicable service requirements within 30 days after completion of service of notice waives his right to be notified of any judicial hearing regarding the child's adoption or the termination of parental rights, and his consent to the adoption or termination is not required.
When Consent Can Be Executed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-107(B)

Any consent given sooner than 72 hours after the birth of the child is invalid.
How Consent Must Be Executed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-107(A), (D), (G)

All consents to adoption shall be in writing and signed by the person giving the consent and witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least age 18 and who subscribe their names in the presence of the person giving the consent or shall be acknowledged by the person giving consent before a notary public.

The consent shall designate either of the following:

  • An agency or the division as authorized by the party giving the consent to place the child for adoption
  • The particular person or persons authorized to adopt the child by the person giving the consent

A consent other than to any agency or the division that does not designate a particular person or persons, or that purports to permit a third person to locate or nominate an adoptive parent, is invalid.
Revocation of Consent
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(D)

Consent is irrevocable unless obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence.

(Back to Top)

Court Jurisdiction and Venue for Adoption Petitions

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (322 KB) of this publication.

Jurisdiction
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-102.01
If a petition for adoption is filed prior to a child's 18th birthday, jurisdiction of the superior court continues for purposes of entering an order of adoption of such child even if the child becomes age 18 prior to the final adoption hearing.
Venue
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-104
The adoption petition may be filed in the court of the county in which one of the following applies:

  • The prospective adoptive parents reside.
  • The child is a ward, i.e., in the care of a governmental agency.

(Back to Top)

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (1155 KB) of this publication.

Who Must Be Studied
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-105
The prospective adoptive parents and any adult members of the adoptive parents' household must be included in the study.
Agency or Person Conducting the Study
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-105
The study and report are completed by the division or agency, or a person or agency designated by the court.
Qualifications for Adoptive Parents
Citation: Admin. Code § R6-5-6603
Prior to accepting a certification application from a person contemplating adoption of a child, or an application for placement from a person who intends to seek a placement through the entity, an adoption entity shall provide the person with adoption orientation.
Elements of a Home Study
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-105; 8-112
The application for certification shall include a financial statement and a physician's statement of the applicant's physical health. An investigation of the prospective adoptive parents shall be conducted to determine whether they are fit and proper persons to adopt children.

The prospective adoptive parent and each adult member of the household must certify whether that person is awaiting trial on or has ever been convicted of any of the criminal offenses listed in § 41-1758.07(B)-(C). An officer of the court may obtain a State and Federal criminal records check.

The investigation and report to the court shall consider all relevant and material facts dealing with the prospective adoptive parents' fitness to adopt children and shall include:

  • A complete social history
  • The financial condition of the applicant
  • The moral fitness of the applicant
  • The religious background of the applicant
  • Physical and mental health conditions of the applicant
  • Any court action for or adjudication of child abuse, abandonment of children, dependency or termination of parent-child relationship
  • All other facts bearing on the issue of the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents

A social study shall be submitted to the court 10 days before the hearing on the petition to adopt. The social study shall include the following:

  • The child's adjustment to the adoptive parent(s)' home
  • The prospective adoptive parent's suitability to adopt
  • The existing and proposed arrangements regarding the child's custody
  • State and Federal criminal records checks and a central registry records check, including any history of child welfare referrals, of the prospective adoptive parent and each adult who is living permanently with the prospective adoptive parent
  • Any other information that is pertinent to the adoption proceedings

Grounds for Withholding Approval
Citation: Admin. Code § R6-5-6606
In determining whether to recommend certification of an applicant, the adoption entity shall consider all factors bearing on fitness to adopt, including, but not limited to:
  • The length and stability of the applicant's marital relationship, if applicable
  • The applicant's age and health
  • Past, significant disturbances or events in the applicant's immediate family, such as involuntary job separation; divorce; or death of spouse, child, or parent; and history of child maltreatment
  • The applicant's ability to financially provide for an adoptee
  • The applicant's history of providing financial support to the applicant's other children, including compliance with court-ordered child support obligations

The certification report shall specifically note any instances in which an applicant has:

  • Been charged with, been convicted of, pled no contest to, or is awaiting trial on charges of an offense listed in Rev. Stat. § 46-141
  • Lost care, custody, control, or parental rights to a child as a result of a dependency action or action to terminate parental rights

If the report recommends denial of certification, the adoption entity shall send the applicant written notice of the unfavorable recommendation and an explanation of the applicant's right to petition the court for review.
When Studies Must Be Completed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-105
Before any prospective adoptive parent may petition to adopt a child, the person shall be certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. A certificate shall be issued only after an investigation. The investigation and report to the court must be completed within 90 days after the application for certification has been accepted.

Within 60 days after receiving the investigation report, the court shall certify the applicant as acceptable or unacceptable to adopt children based on the investigation report and recommendations of the report. A certification remains in effect for 18 months from the date of its issuance and may be extended for additional 1-year periods if after review the court finds that there have been no material changes in circumstances that would adversely affect the acceptability of the applicant to adopt.
Postplacement Study Requirements
Citation: Admin. Code § R6-5-6619
When a child is placed for adoption with a person who is not the child's foster parent, a case manager from the adoption entity shall visit the home within 30 calendar days of placement to:

  • Ensure that the adoptive parent received all available nonidentifying information on the child
  • Address any questions or concerns the adoptive parent or child may have about the adoption process or placement
  • Ensure that the family has addressed the educational needs of a school-age child
  • Ensure that an adoptive parent who works has made appropriate child care arrangements

Following the initial placement visit, a case manager shall:

  • Visit the adoptive family at least once every 3 months until the adoption is finalized, except when the adoptive child is a child with special needs the visits shall occur at least once a month
  • Interview all members of the adoptive family's household
  • Discuss the following issues with the adoptive parent if appropriate in light of the child's age and development:
    • How the presence of the child has changed familial relationships
    • How the child and the extended family view each other
    • The role each family member has assumed regarding child care and discipline
    • How the parent is coping with the needs and demands of the placed child
    • How the child challenges or tests the placement and how the family reacts to these episodes, including any feelings of insecurity about the propriety of the family members' response
    • How the family perceives the child's sense of identity and the need to fill in gaps in the child's history
    • How the child has adjusted to the school environment
  • If developmentally appropriate, privately interview the child about the child's feelings about the adoption and the matters listed above

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-105; 8-112
The requirements for a certification study do not apply if:
  • The prospective adoptive parent is the spouse of the birth or legal parent of the child to be adopted or is an uncle, aunt, adult sibling, grandparent, or great-grandparent of the child by whole or half-blood, or by marriage or adoption.
  • The birth or legal parent is deceased, but at the time of death, the parent had legal and physical custody of the child to be adopted, and the child had resided primarily with the spouse of the birth or legal parent during the 24 months before the death of the parent.
  • The grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling, or uncle is deceased, but at the time of death that person had legal and physical custody of the child to be adopted, and the child had resided primarily with the spouse of the grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling, or uncle during the 24 months before the death of the grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, adult sibling, or uncle.

The social study may consist only of the results of the State and Federal criminal records check and the central registry records check if either of the following is true:

  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child's stepparent who has been legally married to the child's birth or legal parent for at least 1 year, and the child has resided with the stepparent and parent for at least 1 year.
  • The prospective adoptive parent is the child's adult sibling, by whole or half blood, or the child's aunt, uncle, grandparent, or great-grandparent, and the child has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least 1 year.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-548
Placements of children for adoption in or from another State are subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
Foster to Adopt Placements
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-112; Admin. Code § R6-5-6620
If the child being considered for adoption has resided with the prospective adoptive parent for at least 6 months, and the prospective adoptive parent is a foster parent who is licensed by this State, the social study may consist only of the following:
  • The results of a central registry records check
  • A review of any material changes in circumstances that have occurred since the previous license renewal that affect the prospective adoptive parent(s)' ability to adopt the child

In regulation: When a foster parent plans to adopt a foster child who is age 5 or older, a case worker from the adoption entity shall privately interview the child and all members of the adoptive family household who are age 5 or older about their feelings toward the adoption before the adoption consent is signed.

When a child is placed for adoption with a person who has been a foster parent to the child, a case manager from the adoption entity shall conduct home visits at least every 2 months from the time legal consent for adoption has been signed until the finalization of adoption. If the adoptive child is a child with special needs, the case manager shall visit at least once a month.
Links to Resources
Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Children, Youth and Families, 'Steps to Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent'

State regulations full text (PDF - 44 KB)

(Back to Top)

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (524 KB) of this publication.

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-117; 14-2114
The relationship of birth parent and adopted person is completely severed upon entry of the adoption decree, and all legal consequences of the relationship cease to exist, including the right of inheritance.

Adoption of a child by the spouse of either birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that birth parent or on the right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through the other birth parent.
Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-117
The adopted person is entitled to inherit from and through the adoptive parent, and the adoptive parent is entitled to the same from the adopted person, as though the child were born to the adoptive parents in lawful wedlock.
Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 14-2705; 14-2302
A person who is adopted and that person's descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with intestate succession.

If a testator fails to provide by will for a child who is adopted after the testator executes the will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when the testator executed the will, an omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to what the child would have received if the testator had died intestate, unless the will devised all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when the testator executed the will and the will devised property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted child is entitled to share in the testator's estate as follows:
    • The portion of the testator's estate in which the omitted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator's then-living children under the will.
    • The share of the testator's estate that the child would have received if the testator had included all omitted children with the children to whom devises were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

However, if it appears from the will that the omission was intentional or that the testator provided for the omitted child by transfer outside the will and the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision is shown by the testator's statements or can be reasonably inferred from the amount of the transfer or other evidence, no share in the estate will be received.

(Back to Top)

Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (443 KB) of this publication.

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?
Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
The parties to a proceeding under this chapter may enter into an agreement regarding communication with an adopted child, the adoptive parents, and a birth parent.

The agreement shall state that the adoptive parent may terminate contact between the birth parent and the adopted child at any time if the adoptive parent believes that this contact is not in the child's best interests.

The agreement shall contain a clause stating that the parties agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court to enforce and modify the agreement and that they understand that failure to comply with the agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree or for revocation of a written consent to an adoption or relinquishment of parental rights.
Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?
Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
The court shall not approve an agreement unless the agreement is approved by the prospective adoptive parents, any birth parent with whom the agreement is being made, and if the child is in the custody of the division or an agency, a representative of the division or agency.
What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements?
Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
The court shall not approve the agreement unless the court finds that the communication between the adopted child, the adoptive parents, and a birth parent is in the child's best interests. The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least 12 years old.

The court retains jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered to hear motions brought to enforce or modify an order entered pursuant to this section. Before filing a motion, the party seeking to enforce or modify an order shall make a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute. The court shall not enforce or modify an order unless the party filing the motion has made a good faith attempt to mediate the dispute.
Are agreements legally enforceable?
Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
An agreement is not enforceable unless the agreement is in writing and is approved by the court.

An agreement entered into pursuant to this section is enforceable even if it does not disclose the identity of the parties to the agreement.

Failure to comply with an agreement is not grounds for setting aside an adoption decree or for revocation of a written consent to an adoption or relinquishment of parental rights.
How may an agreement be terminated or modified?
Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-116.01
The court may order a modification of an agreement if it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adopted child and one of the following is true:

  • The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parents.
  • Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreement was approved that justify modification of the agreement.

The court may consider the wishes of a child who is at least age 12 in determining whether to order a modification.

(Back to Top)

Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (508 KB) of this publication.

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-114(A)-(B)

The court may approve any monies paid to a parent of a child placed for adoption or another person for the benefit of the parent or adopted child for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the adoption. These expenses may include costs for medical and hospital care and examinations for the mother and child, counseling fees, legal fees, agency fees, living expenses, and any other costs the court finds reasonable and necessary.

A person who wishes to pay the living expenses of a birth parent that exceed $1,000 shall file a motion with the court to permit that payment. A maximum of $1,000 may be advanced for birth parent living expenses without a motion.

In determining what living expenses are reasonable and necessary, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

  • The current standard of living of the birth parent
  • The standard of living necessary to preserve the health and welfare of the birth parent and the unborn child
  • The existence of alternative financial resources for the birth parent

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-114(G)

Expenses that the court finds to be unauthorized or unreasonable are not allowed.
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-114(D)

An attorney may be paid for services in connection with an adoption but only in amounts that the court approves as reasonable and necessary.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-114(C)

Except as provided, a person shall not be directly or indirectly compensated for giving or obtaining consent to place a child for adoption.
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-133

The Department of Economic Security may charge fees for studying and certifying adoption applicants and for providing placement supervision services to cover the costs of providing these services.

If an investigation is conducted by an officer of the court, the court may charge a reasonable fee. The court may waive, reduce, or defer this fee if the fee would cause a hardship.
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-114(E), (F), (H)

No fewer than 10 days before an adoption petition is heard, the prospective adoptive parent shall file with the court a verified accounting of all fees, payments, disbursements, or commitments of anything of value made or agreed to be made by the prospective adoptive parent in connection with the adoption. The accounting shall include all living expenses and be accompanied by an affidavit that is signed by the birth mother, either before or after the birth of the child, that verifies that she has been given written notice; she understands that the payment of these expenses does not obligate her to place her child for adoption; and she may give a valid consent to the adoption only after the child's birth without regard to any cost or expense paid by any person in connection with the adoption. This subsection does apply to an agency placement adoption or to a direct placement adoption made through an agency.

The court shall allow, disallow, or allow in part fees, payments, disbursements, and commitments as shown in the accounting. All adoption cases shall be reviewed by the juvenile court for reasonableness and necessity of expenses.

(Back to Top)

Rights of Unmarried Fathers, The

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (792 KB) of this publication.

Legal Definition of 'Father'
Rev. Stat. § 25-814
A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

  • He and the mother of the child were married at any time in the 10 months immediately preceding the birth or the child is born within 10 months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution of marriage, or after the court enters a decree of legal separation.
  • Genetic testing affirms at least a 95 percent probability of paternity.
  • A birth certificate is signed by the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock.
  • A notarized or witnessed statement is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity or separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements are signed by both parents acknowledging paternity.

Paternity Registry
Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(A)-(B)
A person who is seeking paternity, who wants to receive notice of adoption proceedings, and who is the father or claims to be the father of a child shall file notice of a claim of paternity and of his willingness and intent to support the child to the best of his ability with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics in the Department of Health Services. The Department of Health Services shall provide forms for the purpose of filing the notice of a claim of paternity. Forms shall be made available in the Department of Health Services, the office of the clerk of the Board of Supervisors in each county, every hospital, every licensed child-placing agency, the Department of Economic Security, sheriff's offices, jails, prisons, State Department of Corrections facilities, and Department of Juvenile Corrections Facilities.

The Department of Health Services shall maintain a confidential registry for this purpose.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity
Rev. Stat. § 25-812
This State or the parent of a child born out of wedlock may establish the paternity of a child by filing one of the following with the clerk of the superior court, the Department of Economic Security, or the Department of Health Services:

  • A notarized or witnessed statement that contains the Social Security numbers of both parents and that is signed by both parents acknowledging paternity or two separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements acknowledging paternity
  • An agreement by the parents to be bound by the results of genetic testing, including any genetic test previously accepted by a court of competent jurisdiction, or any combination of genetic testing agreed to by the parties, and an affidavit from a certified laboratory that the tested father has not been excluded

On filing a document required above, the court shall issue an order establishing paternity, which may amend the name of the child or children, if requested by the parents. The clerk shall transmit a copy of the order to the Department of Health Services and the Department of Economic Security.

A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may be filed with the Department of Economic Security, which shall provide a copy to the Department of Health Services. A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity made pursuant to this section is a determination of paternity and has the same force and effect as a superior court judgment.
Required Information
Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(B)
The notice of a claim of paternity may be filed before the birth of the child but shall be filed within 30 days after the birth of the child. The notice of a claim of paternity shall be signed by the putative father and shall include his name and address, the name and last known address of the birth mother, and either the birth date of the child or the probable month and year of the expected birth of the child. The putative father who files a notice of a claim of paternity under this section shall notify the Registrar of Vital Statistics of any change of his address.
Revocation of Claim to Paternity
Rev. Stat. § 25-812
The mother or the father may rescind the acknowledgment of paternity within the earlier of:

  • Sixty days after the last signature is affixed to the notarized acknowledgment of paternity that is filed with the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Health Services, or the court
  • The date of a proceeding relating to the child, including a child support proceeding in which the mother or father is a party

A rescission must be in writing, and a copy of each rescission of paternity shall be filed with the Department of Economic Security. The Department of Economic Security shall mail a copy of the rescission of paternity to the other parent and to the Department of Health Services.

The mother, father, or child may challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity established in this State at any time after the 60-day period only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the challenger and under which the legal responsibilities, including child support obligations of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment, shall not be suspended during the challenge except for good cause shown. The court shall order the mother, her child or children, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the genetic tests demonstrate that the established father is not the biological father of the child, the court shall vacate the determination of paternity and terminate the obligation of that party to pay ongoing child support.
Access to Information
Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(B)
The department shall only respond to written inquiries of the confidential registry that are received from the court, the division, a licensed adoption agency, or a licensed attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption.

(Back to Top)

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (414 KB) of this publication.

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 36-338(C)
Before the State Registrar creates and registers a certificate of foreign birth for a parent of an adopted child who has been issued an IR-3 visa and who has completed a readoption process in a court in this State, the parent must provide either of the following:

  • An original State of Arizona certificate of adoption
  • A certified court order of adoption issued by a court in this State and either a birth certificate from the country of the adoptee's birth or any other written documentation that establishes the date and place of the adoptee's birth that has been translated into English

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 36-338(A),(B),(D)-(F)
The State Registrar shall create a certificate of foreign birth for an adoptee who shows that he or she:
  • Was born in a foreign country
  • Is not a U.S. citizen
  • Has gone through a completed adoption process in a foreign country before coming to the United States
  • Has an IR-3 stamped passport

Before the State Registrar creates a certificate of foreign birth, a State court, an adoptive parent, or an adult adoptee must submit the following:

  • An adoption decree or other official document finalizing the adoption from the country of the adoptee's birth that has been translated into English
  • A copy of the passport page showing the IR-3 stamp

If the adoptee does not have an IR-3 stamped passport, before the State Registrar creates a certificate, an adoptive parent or an adult adoptee must submit either:

  • An original State of Arizona certificate of adoption
  • A certified court order of adoption issued by a court in this State and either a birth certificate from the country of the adoptee's birth or any other written documentation that establishes the date and place of the adoptee's birth that has been translated into English
  • If the person was not adopted in this State, a court order issued in this State that recognizes the adoption pursuant to § 36-336

The State Registrar shall not create a State of Arizona certificate of foreign birth for an adoptee who was born in a foreign country and who was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth. The State Registrar shall inform the adoptive parents or the adult adoptee that a birth certificate may be obtained through the U.S. Department of State.

A State of Arizona certificate of foreign birth for an adoptee must show the country of birth and state that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the person for whom it is issued.

(Back to Top)

Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (476 KB) of this publication.

Use of Advertisement
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-130; 8-114; 8-134
Except as provided below, a person shall not do any of the following unless the person is employed or engaged by and acting on behalf of a licensed adoption agency:

  • Solicit or accept employment or engagement, for compensation, by or on behalf of a parent or guardian for assistance in the placement of a child for adoption
  • Solicit or accept employment or engagement, for compensation, by or on behalf of any person to locate or obtain a child for adoption

An attorney licensed to practice law in this State may assist and participate in direct placement adoptions and may receive compensation to the extent the court finds reasonable if the person granting consent to the adoption has chosen a specific adopting parent without prior involvement of the attorney or if the choice is made only from among persons currently certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children.

Before a petition to adopt is granted, an attorney participating or assisting in the direct placement or adoption shall file an affidavit stating that there has been compliance with the above requirements.

An attorney may be paid for the attorney's services in connection with the adoption only the amount the court approves as being reasonable and necessary.

(Back to Top)

Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (543 KB) of this publication.

Who May Adopt
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-103

Any adult resident of the State, whether married, unmarried, or legally separated, is eligible to adopt. A husband and wife may jointly adopt.

The division or adoption agency shall place a child in an adoptive home that best meets the safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs of the child. Other relevant factors for consideration, in no order of preference, shall include:

  • The marital status, and length and stability of the marital relationship of the prospective adoptive parents
  • Placement with the child's siblings
  • Established relationships between the child and the prospective adoptive family, including placement with a grandparent or another member of the child's extended family including a person or foster parent who has a significant relationship with the child
  • The prospective adoptive family's ability to meet the child's safety, social, emotional, physical and mental health needs and the ability to financially provide for the child
  • The wishes of the child who is age 12 or older
  • The wishes of the child's birth parents unless the rights of the parent have been terminated or the court has established a case plan of severance and adoption
  • The availability of relatives, the child's current or former foster parents, or other significant persons to provide support to the prospective adoptive family and child

If all relevant factors are equal and the choice is between a married man and woman certified to adopt and a single adult certified to adopt, placement preference shall be with a married man and woman.
Who May Be Adopted
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-102

The following persons may be adopted:

  • A child
  • A foreign-born person age 21 or less who is not an illegal alien

A person to be adopted must be present within the State at the time the petition is filed.
Who May Place a Child for Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-106; 8-130; 8-101

A child may be placed as follows:

  • The child's birth or adoptive parent may consent to a direct placement or an agency placement.
  • A licensed child-placing agency or the Department of Economic Security may handle a direct placement or an agency placement.
  • A State-licensed attorney may handle direct placements.

 

https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/index.cfm?event=stateStatutes.processSearch