Project Permanence: Fostering With Onward Hope

A brief look into why Onward Hope was founded, the services we offer and our 5-10 year goals. 

Foster Care Minimum Qualifications

Interested in fostering?

Foster Care is the temporary placement of children who have been abused or neglected into safe and loving homes. Foster parents are very special people who are willing to share their time, their homes and their care with children in their communities. Foster parents provide a critical and necessary service, and the impact of their service can last a lifetime.


The minimum criteria to become a licensed foster parent in the state of Arizona is as follows:


  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Married, single, co-habiting, or partnered
  • Adequate income to support your own family's need
  • A safe and gender/age appropriate living space for a child in foster care, including a permanent bed and dresser/closet space
  • Provide personal references that can attest to your ability to interact with or take care if children
  • Pass a criminal background check and obtain a level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • Provide a physician's statement verifying your emotional and physical health 
  • Complete all pre-service training classes provided by Onward Hope, Inc. 

As an organization, Onward Hope, also requires

  • Commit to love 
  • Be patient with our children and the system 
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills
  • Be open to and trust the process, it takes 3-4 months 
  • CPR/First Aid training to be current for all foster/adoptive parents 

Respite Care

What's Is Respite Care?

Respite Care provides a brief break for families and a chance for youth to socialize through a variety of activities. 


As a respite provider, you can go into the home of the foster parents as an In-Home Respite Provider. As a regular Respite Provider, you can care for children in foster carein your home.


Each family receives 144-hours of respite each year. 

Steps to Getting Licensed

What does this process look like?

  

Step 1: Review our Basic Requirements

You must meet the basic Arizona State requirements to begin the process. 


Step 2: Attend an Orientation

At an Onward Hope Foster Care & Adoption Orientation, we will discuss this licensing process in detail, the unique needs of children in care, how you can meet those needs, and supports offered to each family from Onward Hope. Please see our calendar for the upcoming orientation dates. 


Step 3: Training

After we mutually choose to partner, Onward Hope as your agency, will place you in the training course that best fits your schedule and location. During this time, you will be assigned to a dedicated Family Support Specialists, who will visit you in your home and work with you to complete the basic requirements and paperwork. 


Foster Parent College Pre-Service Blended Training Program is a 5-week training course that combines both in-person and online classroom sessions. 


Step 4: Home Safety Inspection

Our staff will guide you through preparing your home for the inspection. Then you’ll be ready for licensing or certification!


Throughout your journey our specialists will be available to help you prepare your home for your final home inspection. For a foster family, when they are ready, the Office of Licensing and Regulation (OLR) will conduct the home inspection. For adoptive families, your specialist will conduct a home inspection to ensure everything is in compliance with state standards.


Step 5: Family Home Study

Your specialist will interview family members, guide you through the required paperwork, and help you complete a detailed home study. 


Once the training has been completed, specialists will schedule interviews with all adult members of the household. These are 2-3 hour individual interviews to explore your family, your childhood, your education and job experience, your relationships and significant life events and how they have affected you. 


After completing the Foster Parent College Pre-Service Blended Training Program and finishing any outstanding paperwork, specialists return to your home for another visit. At this visit, which can last several hours, specialists finalize the information they need to complete your home study. This may also be the time that children in the home will be interviewed.


During the 30 to 60 days after a family completes the Foster Parent College Pre-Service Blended Training Program, a specialist writes your in-depth home study. This is a report about all of the information gathered about the family, background, training, experiences, how the family operates and any other relevant information. For foster families, the home study is submitted to the Office of Licensure and Regulation for licensing and for adoptive families the home study is submitted to the court for certification. Both entities take several weeks to review the studies, on occasion they will have additional questions for the specialist. Once an adoptive family is certified they are placed on the Department of Child Safety adoption registry. When a foster parent is licensed they are added to Onward Hope’s placement list. Once placed on the placement list or the adoption registry, many factors can affect how long it will take to be matched with a child. Your specialist will help you manage realistic expectations regarding placement of children.

Support Offered

Arizona Department of Child Safety Support for Child(ren) in Foster Care

  • Monthly Reimbursement
  • Respite Care
  • DES Approved Day Care 
  • Health Insurance

Onward Hope Inc, Support

  • On-site Notarization and Fingerprinting Services
  • Free Advanced Education Training 
  • Free Childcare for all Advanced Education Training*
  • Foster & Adoptive Family Mentoring
  • A dedicated Family Support Specialist
  • 24-hour assistance
  • Quarterly Newsletter
  • Annual Spring Gathering and Holiday Event
  • Community/Organization Donations: This includes opportunities to receive blankets, diapers, clothing, toiletries, food, complimentary tickets to community and sporting events.
  • Support Groups
  • Foster and Adoptive Parents
  • Children in Foster Care
  • Biological Children