Governor Doug Ducey today announced Arizona received a $1.49 million Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help more Arizona kids find safe, loving homes. Funding through the Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments program is awarded based on the number of children and youth in foster care that are connected to permanent homes through adoption and legal guardianship, with states receiving more funding as more children in out-of-home care are found permanent homes. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, more than 3,500 Arizona children were adopted from foster care.
The Governor today met with the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Administration for Children and Families Lynn Johnson, Arizona Department of Child Safety Director Mike Faust and Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family Director Maria Cristina Fuentes to accept the award and discuss Arizona’s continued work to support kids and families in need.
“All Arizona kids deserve a loving family and a safe home,” said Governor Ducey. “This funding will help Arizona amplify support for families and connect more kids in out-of-home care with a permanent home. My sincere thanks and appreciation goes to Assistant Secretary Johnson, Director Faust, Director Fuentes and all Arizonans—especially our parents through adoption—who work to protect Arizona kids.”
Arizona ranked 11th in the nation for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care last year. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Child Safety has:
Connected more than 18,200 kids in out-of-home care to forever homes since FY 2016;
Reduced the number of children in out-of-home care by approximately 25% since FY 2016;
Continued to investigate every call of abuse and neglect during the pandemic, responding to roughly 150 reports a day;
Resumed safe in-person visitation between parents, kids and siblings, facilitating approximately 6,000 visits per week during the pandemic; and
Reunified approximately 2,100 kids with their parents and finalized approximately 1,300 adoptions since the pandemic began.
The Governor and Assistant Secretary Johnson also discussed the ALL IN Foster Adoption Challenge. The program is a national effort to garner commitments and build strategic partnerships with governors, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, families and more that are focused on the goal of finding loving, permanent homes for the nearly 122,000 children and youth throughout the nation who are in the foster care system.