Behavioral Health - RBHA

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A RBHA is a designated agency contracted by the state to coordinate and manage publicly funded behavioral health services for children, adults and their families within a given county. In Arizona the RBHAs are Mercy Maricopa Integrated Health, Cenpatico Integrated Health, and Health Choice Integrated Care. To determine which RBHA serves your county click here under How to access services-Behavioral Health.

Click here for an informative booklet Behavioral Health Resource Guide.

Click here for an AHCCCS FAQ sheet for foster and kinship providers.

Within the first 72 hours of a child coming into foster care, Rapid Response evaluates the physical and mental health of the child. Rapid response enrolls about 90 percent of these children with a mental health service provider.

To learn about the timeline standards established by Jacob's Law, related to behavioral health services for children in foster care, including contact numbers for your RBHA click here

Download a guide to understand the needs, support and treatment of children and adolescents in foster and adoptive care here.

Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (the RBHA for Maricopa County) has an informative flier that provides an overview on accessing mental health and substance abuse services for children in care; click here to view flier.

Click here to view a table explaining behavioral health services, including responsible parties, required timelines, and RHBA contact information.

HB2442, also known as Jacob's Law was signed in March 2016. The law establishes timelines for a Regional Behavioral Health Authority to provide behavioral health services to foster and adoptive children. The bill's purpose is to ensure easier, better access to behavioral health care for Arizona foster kids and families.

To learn about the timeline standards established by Jacob's Law, related to behavioral health services for children in foster care, including contact numbers for your RBHA click here

Trainings regarding Jacob's Law can be found through your RHBA as well as through our events calendar

DCS should provide you the Notice to Provider for each child placed in your home at the time of placement. The Notice to Provider includes the DCS case manager's contact information, specifications about contact with the child's family, and the child's health coverage number (CMDP number or ALTCS verification information).

This document authorizes foster parents to enroll the child in school and obtain medical care for the child.

For all medical emergencies, dial 911 immediately. For a behavioral health crisis involving the child in your home, contact the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) crisis line for your county:

Click here for information about accessing crisis services for your child.

Once a crisis situation has been stabilized, the child's DDD support coordinator and DCS case manager should be notified if they are not already aware of the situation.

If you are a licensed foster parent, in addition to informing the DDD support coordinator and DCS case manager, your licensing specialist should be notified and a DDD incident report must be completed.

Caregivers of someone receiving behavioral health services can use a maximum of 600 hours per year per enrolled member. To request respite through your behavioral health provider speak with the provider about a referral. Respite can also be discussed at your CFT meeting.

Psychotropic medications are covered by the RBHA. In order to fill prescriptions for psychotropic medications, the pharmacist should refer to the RHBA information listed on the front of the card; this information includes the RBHA's phone number in the event there are any coverage questions.

If you are a licensed foster parent, medications must be stored according to Title 21. Per Title 21 Chapter 8, Article 1,A licensed foster parent shall ensure all medications are kept in locked storage; a lock is defined as “a device operated by a key, combination, magnet, keycard, or other tool .” Locks must not include a locked door for a room that serves an alternate purpose (laundry room, garage, office, daily use closets, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc.) Medication means both prescription and over-the-counter remedies.

If you are an unlicensed provider, although it is not required to lock medications, it is recommended that medications be safeguarded for safety.

Although it is not a requirement to keep a log of medications it is recommended that dosages and medications are logged. Keeping documentation of medications to show the child's doctor could be helpful in determining a medication's effectiveness, determining the correct dosage and preventing medication errors. Keeping medication logs also demonstrates compliance with doctor's orders.

This document will help you organize and store all of the records, information, and documents for a child in foster care.

Magellan Health’s Appropriate Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Children and Adolescents: A Clinical Monograph has information about psychotropic medications used to treat a variety of diagnoses in children and adolescents, including mood disorders, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, disruptive behavioral disorders/aggression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and childhood schizophrenia. Click here to review entire paper.

This paper includes charts of psychotropic drug information --- dosages, side effects, and clinical monitoring recommendations. Click here to review charts.

Magellan Health also has an information sheet (in English and Spanish) with practical tips to help caregivers participate in their child’s care. Click here to review information sheet.

The DCS case manager should provide you with the child's CMDP card. If the card is not provided by DCS you can contact CMPD at 602-351-2245 or 1-800-201-1795 (option 3)

For a link to the CMDP Member Handbook click here

No. There are no payments, fees or copayments for foster children or their caregivers for medical, dental, vision, or behavioral health services and equipment. Members and foster caregivers should not be billed for any services that CMDP covers. CMDP's payment to the provider is considered payment in full.

List CMDP as the responsible party on medical, dental, and vision forms. You do not need to list any personal information on any bills or claims.

To determine which RBHA serves your county click here under How to access services-Behavioral Health.

The links below can help you find a provider or pharmacy in your area and within your RBHAs network:

Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care

Health Choice Integrated Care

Cenpatico Integrated Care

Children's Rehabilitative Services

Some common behavioral health services available to children in foster care include:

  • DCS stabilization teams
  • High-needs case management
  • Psychiatric services
  • Behavior coaching
  • Respite care
  • Individual and family therapy

In some regions, some behavioral health services may be provided in the home rather than in the office. Talk to the behavioral health provider that has been assigned to the child to find out what options are available.

A Child and Family Team (CFT) is formed when your child begins to receive behavioral health services. This team is made up foster/kinship caregivers, the child (if age appropriate), the child's services providers (including the RBHA case manager) , the child's parents, and could include other important adults involved in the child's life. The purpose of the team is to determine what services are needed, to create a service plan to meet the child's behavioral health needs, and to identify any gaps in services. The meeting frequency of the team depends on the needs of the child and the progress of services.

For information on how to prepare for a CFT click here.

Children are assigned either a low needs or high needs case manager with their RBHA contracted behavioral health service agency. These case managers are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the child's behavioral health services and will facilitate the CFT meetings.

When a child's case becomes complex and involves multiple services providers, a high needs case manager is assigned to better meet the child's needs, including facilitating more frequent CFT meetings.

The foster or kinship caregiver can consent to assessment, evaluation and treatment for routine medical and dental treatment and procedures, including behavioral health services. Examples of behavioral health services caregivers can consent to include:

  • Assessment and Service Planning
  • Counseling and Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Medical Services
  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Laboratory devices
  • Crisis Intervention Services
  • Behavioral Health Day Programs
  • Support Services
  • Case management
  • Personal care services
  • Family support
  • Peer support
  • Respite
  • Sign language or oral interpretive services
  • Transportation

DCS must consent to inpatient assessment, inpatient psychiatric care services, residential treatment services, therapeutic group homes, and Home Care Training to Home Care Client (HCTC).

A request for an evaluation for medication can be done through the CFT or directly through the medical behavioral health provider. The decision to have the child evaluated should be done in collaboration with the CFT, which includes the DCS case manager, and the concerns discussed at the CFT should be shared with the prescribing doctor. For information on how to prepare for the evaluation click here.

Talk to the child's therapist to find out what other options are recommended. Request a Child and Family Team (CFT) meeting to discuss these options and get approval.

Caregivers should provide transportation to medical and behavioral health appointments. If you are unable to provide transportation, contact your DCS worker for transportation assistance. CMDP member services may contacted for additional help. 602.351.2245 option 3

If services are not initiated within 21 calendar days or there are any other concerns regarding behavioral health services, the caregiver must notify both the behavioral health plan's Children's Liaison and AHCCCS Customer Service using the contact information found here here

The caregiver must give the signed Notice to Provider Form received from DCS to the treatment provider in order to receive a foster child's behavioral health treatment information. The behavioral health provider must provide records and information related to the child's condition and treatment to the caregiver.

It is a good idea to store the child's records in a notebook/binder that you can bring to Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings and other appointments. This document will help you organize and store all of the records, information, and documents for a child in foster care. If the child moves to a new foster home, send this notebook/binder to the new care providers.

Also, remember that the child's case record is confidential. Be sure to keep the child's records stored in a secure location in your home that only the foster parents (you) can access.

Licensed foster parents are to notify DCS and their licensing agency within 24 hours if their child has an illness, injury, change of medication, or medication error that results in seeking medical attention.

Licensed foster parents are to notify DCS and their licensing agency immediately if their child dies, has a serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization, behavior not witnessed before and any other unusual incident that seriously jeopardized the health, safety, or well-being of a foster child or receives urgent care or emergency room treatment and whenever emergency services (911) is contacted.

Within 24 hours of any of the above noted incidents, licensed foster parents shall complete an Unusual Incident Report form and submit it to their licensing agency.

Unlicensed kinship foster parents are to notify DCS within 2 hours of the following: death of a child or hospitalization (medical or psychiatric.)

Unlicensed kinship foster parents are to notify DCS within 48 hours if the child becomes seriously ill.

  • Participate in the CFT Meetings
  • Ensure the child attends appointments for services
  • Document and report any incidents or changes regarding the child's behavior
  • Ensure medications are administered correctly if prescribed
  • Keep documentation for behavioral health services (CFT service plan, progress reports, etc)

A New Leaf's therapeutically-based program uses a strengths-based model, that engages your child in structured activities to promote progress toward identified treatment goals. The purpose is to improve the home, school, and social functioning through a variety of planned and supervised activities, both onsite and in the community. Structured group activities help to improve communication, social skills, and healthy choices with the goal of a successful transition back to community based after school programs.


Devereux's Boost Program (Tucson) is designed to provide support and assistance to licensed foster parents and unlicensed kinship parents when children demonstrate challenging behaviors in the the home. Flyer

Foster Care Stabilization Team- Participate in the CFT and and provide intensive services for up to 30 days. Provide behavior modification, support, and psychoeducation to the child and family.


Download a guide to understand the needs, support and treatment of children and adolescents in foster and adoptive care here.

For FAQs regarding behavioral health click here

For additional information and training regarding behavioral health through Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, click here