TOOLS TO HELP ON THE FOSTER/ADOPTIVE JOURNEY
Arizona Foster Care System:
Government Services and Support:
- Children's Medical & Dental Program (CMDP) is the medical & dental insurance plan in which all children in foster care are enrolled. It can take several weeks for the child's ID card to arrive, but foster parents can use the Notice To Provider form when taking the child to appointments. DCS asks foster parents to take all new placements to see a doctor/dentist within one month of being placed in the home. The selected doctor/dentist must be approved to take CMDP, and you should contact CMDP to inform them of the child's preferred care provider.
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is a program for children up to age five. They provide all foster families, regardless of income, with checks that can be used at the grocery store for formula or food. The checks specify what can be bought. Foster parents must make an appointment with a WIC office. They must bring the child and the child's Notice To Provider form to the appointment.
- College Tuition Help for Foster Youth : Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program - According to state law, Arizona foster children are eligible to receive free tuition at state schools. Foster children enrolled in higher education are also eligible to receive assistance with living expenses while they are in school.
- The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation provides funding for children in foster care to participate in extracurricular, social, athletic and educational activities.
- The Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents serves foster, adoptive and kinship families as they care for Arizona's most vulnerable children. Their strategy is to empower foster, adoptive and kinship families with information, connect them to each other, and be heard as a voice of advocacy for continuous improvements in the State's child welfare system.
- Helen's Hope Chest helps children in foster care with their basic needs such as clothing, school supplies, books, and toys. HHC gives children an experience similar to shopping in a consignment store. Appointments are required; no membership fee is required.
- Arizona Helping Hands provides programs to meet many of the basic needs for boys and girls in the Arizona Department of Child Safety system. This includes Birthday Dreams (personalized birthday packages) , Basic Needs (beds or cribs, linens, diapers, clothing), Holiday Toy Drive (toys and books), Back to School (backpacks filled with school supplies), and Dream Kits (personal care items like shampoo, body wash/soap, toothbrush and paste, and brush/comb).
- Jose's Closet offers foster and adoptive parents a place where they can obtain clothes and other items for their children. It also offers a place where foster and adoptive parents can exchange clothes, cribs, strollers, toys and other equipment. $40 annual membership fee and volunteer hours required.
- Opportunity for help with your Pool Fence: This program through the United Phoenix Firefighters Association offers families the opportunity to apply to receive a pool fence free of charge if families reside within Maricopa County. Income is taken into account in consideration of granting the application, families must have a child 6 years of age or younger for whom they are providing care, and must own the home.
- Empowered to Connect: Founded by Karyn Purvis, this organization of foster/adoptive parents and professionals desires to help foster/adoptive parents, ministry leaders, and professionals connect with children who come from difficult backgrounds to help them heal.
- Arizona Serves: This site offers a lot of information regarding Arizona foster care statistics, resources, videos and ideas on volunteering.
- Adopt US Kids provides tools and technical assistance to support states, tribes and territories in their efforts to connect children in foster care with families interested in adopting them.
- Arizona's Children's Heart Gallery: You can learn more about specific children currently available for adoption within the state of Arizona.
Books and Articles: