Should I become a foster parent?

So, you are considering becoming a foster parent? Here is some information that may help you decide if you are ready.

By becoming a foster parent, you will help Arizona’s children who are unable to live safely with their parents and/or biological family. As a foster parent you will be providing a struggling child with love and support to thrive. You will become an advocate for this child ensuring they get what they need to heal and grow. Generally, the ultimate goal is for the youth to be reunified with their parents. Your role as the foster parent is to provide a safe and supportive environment during this process. However, the case can change to severance and adoption when reunification is not in the best interest of the child. As the child’s foster parent, you may be considered for adoption where the child can permanently and legally join your family.

Foster Care - Español

Still here? It’s obvious you have a desire to help children in need heal and thrive, but do you meet the state requirements to become a foster parent?


• You must be age 21 or older (Foster Care), 18 or older (Adoption)

• You can be single, married or in a relationship, but if you are married, both parties may jointly adopt.

• You — and all adults in your household — must pass a FBI and local criminal background check and have a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Department of Public Safety.

• You must be a legal U.S. and Arizona resident.

• For out-of-state families or children, or to see additional requirements go to https://dcs.az.gov/ to learn more.

If you made it this far, you might as well learn how to become a foster or adoptive parent.


Attend an Orientation

The orientation is an information session for potential foster, adopt, and kinship parents to learn more about what it means to be a resource parent. You have two options for attending an orientation. Your first option is to sign up for an HCS virtual orientation which is more personalized and you are able to ask questions. Your second option is to view the DCS 5-part orientation online.

Complete an Intake

Contact HCS to get the process started. The HCS Specialist will begin the paperwork with you. This may include: assisting you to apply for a Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card, and collecting documents from you such as your driver's license, marriage licenses, biological child(ren)'s immunization records, car insurance, etc. The Specialist will also assist you in signing up for the training classes (step 3).

Complete Training Classes

The state requires all foster and adoptive parents to complete a streamlined pre-training program. This training is to help prospective foster and adoptive parents decide if they want to continue the process. Parents assess their parenting skills, their ability to partner with DCS, biological parents, and other providers in the best interest of the child, as well as their ability to care for the safety and well-being of children placed in their home. There are ten classes in total (see our training page for the schedule).

Home Study

As you complete training and turn in all assignments as well as all necessary documentation, you will begin the home study process. This consists of several interviews with you and your household members in order for HCS staff to make a recommendation to the state. Some of the elements of the home study consists of: determinability of physical, mental, and emotional strengths related to caring for children; obtaining references; verifying financial stability; verifying a safe and secure living environment; and verifying a clean criminal history and DCS records check. The Office of Licensing and Regulation will make the final determination on whether or not to license a family.

Contact HCS

If you have questions or would like to schedule an intake, please contact our intake department.

[email protected]

Arizona's Children Waiting to be Adopted

There are many Arizona children waiting to be part of a family. Please visit to learn more about each of these children.

Want To Help?

All children deserve to have a place to call home, but you do not need to be a foster or adoptive parent to make a difference.

Find out the many ways you can support HCS and the children and families of Arizona.