Licensing

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Yes, you can attend a “Kinship Information Session for DCS Foster Caregivers” to find more information about financial benefits, DCS policies, resources, and medical/dental/vision care available for the children under your care. Click here to find the next Kinship Information Session near you.

Licensing may make sense for your family if….

  • Your family could benefit from the extra support*
  • It appears that the DCS case will continue to be open for the next several months
  • You are willing to work collaboratively with system partners to comply with licensing regulations
  • You’re planning on adopting the child in your home – especially if you are a non-relative caregiver
  • You need extra help and support parenting the children in your home

*Extra support includes the following:

  • Required training that will increase your parenting skills, increase your understanding about the effects of abuse and neglect on children, and increase your understanding of the children’s unique needs
  • Gain additional supports and advocacy from licensing agency
  • Get monthly non-taxable foster care reimbursement of approximately $600 per child (click here for specifics)
  • Greater opportunity for networking with other kinship families
  • Demonstrates your commitment to the child in the eyes of the court
  • Simplified steps to complete an adoption
Kinship
  • Effective 1/2018, training that consists of an online component (approximately 15-20 hours) and a concurrent in-class component (15 hours)
  • Fingerprinting for all adult household members
  • Click the video to learn how you can get fingerprinted
  • Physical exams for all adult household members
  • Home Inspection
  • CPR and First Aid certification
  • Home study interviews with all household members
  • Copies of documents (driver license, marriage certificate, identify verification, paystubs, etc.)
  • Reference checks (5)

You will need to get your fingerprints done through Fieldprint. Click the video to learn how to get this done.

An applicant generally receives his/her Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card in 3-5 days if their record is clear.

If an applicant’s record is not clear and his/her application is denied, the applicant should receive a denial letter in 3-4 months.

If you have not received your Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card within 2 weeks of having your fingerprints done, there is a good chance your application will be denied. If this is the case, it is highly recommended that you begin preparing a “good cause exception” packet; click here to view this application packet or you can call (602) 265-0135 to request a good cause exception application be mailed to you. This application explains in detail the required information and supporting documentation, and also provides you with examples of good and bad written explanations. You will need to submit:

  • copies of police reports for every arrest or criminal charge (even if not convicted) that happened within the 5 years before the date of your denial letter; please see item #8 on page 2 of the application for more information.
  • copies of court documents for every criminal conviction in your adult life even if it is not listed on your denial letter; please see item #10 on page 3 of the application for more information. If the court doesn’t have a record, ask the court for documentation that it searched its records and could not find your case.
  • if your denial letter states that the disposition of a charge could not be determined, please contact the appropriate court and get a document that either (1) states the disposition of the charge or (2) states that a record could not be found.
  • if you have ever had a substantiated allegation of neglect or abuse of a child or vulnerable adult in any state, you will need to provide a copy of the investigation report.

Collecting these pieces of documentation can take a while, so it is recommended that you begin working on doing so as soon as possible.

In the denial letter that you received from the Arizona Department of Public Safety it will state whether or not you are eligible to request a “good cause exception” from the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. If you are eligible, you will need to complete and submit a good cause exception packet; click here to view this application packet or you can call (602) 265-0135 to request a good cause exception application be mailed to you.

When you submit your good cause exception packet, remember to submit it to the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting AND remember to include a copy of the DPS denial letter.

Here’s an approximate time frame for processing fingerprint applications that get denied:

  • 3-4 months for applicant to receive denial letter.
  • Applicant submits good cause exception packet (including any court or police records).
  • Board of Fingerprinting receives applicant’s good cause exception packet and requests criminal records from DPS.
  • 7-10 days for Board of Fingerprinting to receive criminal records from DPS.
  • 20 days for Board of Fingerprinting to review packet and supporting documents.
  • Board of Fingerprinting makes decision to either grant a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card or schedule the applicant a hearing (which may take an additional 3-4 months).

It generally takes 4 to 6 months to get licensed as the applicants need to complete the training course (concurrent online and in-person components) in addition to having a home study written and submitted to OLR. The home study process requires multiple home visits with your licensing worker to conduct interviews and collect the required supporting documentation. Applicants must also become First Aid and CPR certified.

Yes, there are some things that make a family ineligible for licensure, including the following:

  • Someone in the home has a medical marijuana card and possesses or uses any marijuana products.
  • You have an unfenced pool, Jacuzzi, or other body of water that is more than 18 inches deep and you are caring for or want to care for a foster child who is 6 years of age or younger or a child of any age who has a developmental disability.
  • There are minors in the home who are not immunized and you are caring for or want to care for a foster child who is an infant, young, and/or medically complex.
  • Someone in the home cannot provide proof of US citizenship and/or permanent legal residency.
  • An adult in the home is unable to obtain a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card due to specific convictions in their past.
  • The biological parent(s) of the placed child(ren) lives in the home.

Licensing agencies work with families to help them become foster care licensed. Once a family is licensed, the licensing agency monitors the license to ensure the family is meeting the rules and regulations required of licensed foster parents. The licensing agency also provides support to the family by offering resources, helping the family work with various system partners (DCS, the court, behavioral health, schools, etc.), and helping the family locate ongoing trainings opportunities.

The Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR) has created comprehensive materials to prepare foster families for a home inspection. Your licensing agency will also assist throughout the home inspection process and will schedule an inspection with OLR once your home is prepared.

Home inspection forms for foster homes can be found by clicking on the following links:

Home inspection forms for DDD foster homes can be found by clicking on the following links:

  • A minimum of quarterly home visits from your licensing worker to support you and offer resources and to monitor that you are following licensing regulations
  • Monthly foster care reimbursement (click here for specifics)
  • Occasional unannounced visits
  • Required to keep foster child records
  • 12 hours of advanced training every 2 years
  • License renewal process every 2 years

If you are receiving TANF Cash Assistance for the child(ren) in your care, notify DES FAA so that this financial assistance can be stopped. Click here for more information.

Q: What can I do if my application for a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card was denied?
A: In the denial letter that you received from the Arizona Department of Public Safety it will state whether or not you are eligible to request a “good cause exception” from the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting. If you are eligible, you will need to complete and submit a good cause exception packet; click here to view this application packet or you can call (602) 265-0135 to request a good cause exception application be mailed to you.

When you submit your good cause exception packet, remember to submit it to the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting AND remember to include a copy of the DPS denial letter.

Here’s an approximate time frame for processing fingerprint applications that get denied:

  • 3-4 months for applicant to receive denial letter.
  • Applicant submits good cause exception packet (including any court or police records).
  • Board of Fingerprinting receives applicant’s good cause exception packet and requests criminal records from DPS.
  • 7-10 days for Board of Fingerprinting to receive criminal records from DPS.
  • 20 days for Board of Fingerprinting to review packet and supporting documents.
  • Board of Fingerprinting makes decision to either grant a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card or schedule the applicant a hearing (which may take an additional 3-4 months).

A licensing inquiry occurs when OLCR/OLR formally requests the licensing agency to investigate possible licensing violations within the foster home. A licensing inquiry is not an allegation of neglect or abuse; rather, it is an investigation to determine if licensing regulations, especially those contained in Title 21, Article 10, and Article 11, have been violated. Common licensing concerns include discipline violations, life-safety concerns and supervision issues. Licensing inquiries can also occur when families fail to disclose information to the licensing agency such as changes in household composition or significant changes in household finances.

A licensing inquiry is conducted by the licensing worker.

When OLCR/OLR makes the decision to request a licensing inquiry, the licensing agency is notified along with the GAL, DCS worker and supervisors within the agencies. This notification comes through an e-mail from OLCR/OLR. Depending on the nature of the concerns, an unannounced visit may occur. If an unannounced visit is not needed, the licensing worker simply contacts the family to arrange a visit. For the agency, the licensing inquiry process is outlined in detail by OLCR/OLR. The licensing worker will discuss the specific concerns with the family. The licensing worker may also need to interview other household members. Usually, the licensing worker will need to interview the children in the home. After all of the information is gathered, the licensing worker generates a report. The report will indicate whether or not any licensing violations were found.

If the licensing agency determines that there were no rule violations, it will suggest no further action. However, if it is determined that licensing rules were violated, the licensing agency will recommend a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). A CAP usually requires additional training and/or monitoring of the home to ensure any licensing violations are corrected. Regardless of what the licensing agency determines, OLCR/OLR will make an independent assessment of the findings. OLCR/OLR will either accept the report and recommendations as they are written or add additional requirements at their discretion. An open licensing inquiry may delay renewal. The licensing agency will also place the family on hold for additional placements until OLCR/OLR sends a closing letter with their recommendations. If a family chooses to close their license with an open inquiry or prior to completing a CAP, OLCR/OLR will deny any re-applications and the family will not be eligible for licensure in the future (R21-6-414.I.2).

The inquiry report is generated by the licensing agency in partnership with the family. The family is expected to cooperate with the agency by fully disclosing any requested information. Families will be provided a redacted copy of the licensing report after it is submitted to OLCR/OLR. If a family feels that they have been treated unfairly or inaccurately represented, they may contact the persons listed on the Supplemental Notice of Inspection form that would have been provided by the worker at the time of the visit. The licensing agency has the final authority regarding what is contained in the licensing inquiry report.

From the time the request is received, the licensing agency has 45 days to investigate the concerns and submit a report. After the report is submitted to OLCR/OLR, OLCR/OLR will send a written response. OLCR’s/OLR’s goal is to close licensing inquiries within 21 days of receiving the licensing agency’s report.