Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Arizona

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man., Ch. 3, § 3

The Department of Child Safety (DCS) shall facilitate the development of an individualized, family-centered, written case plan for every child, youth, and family receiving ongoing services from the department. The department shall conduct a case plan staffing and create the initial written case plan within 60 days of the case being identified to receive in-home services, within 60 days of the child's removal from home, or within 10 working days of a child's placement with a voluntary placement agreement.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man., Ch. 3, § 3

DCS shall involve the family in the development of the case plan. Invitations to participate in the case plan staffing may be extended to the following:

  • The parents, guardians, and/or custodians
  • The child, if age 12 or older
  • Extended family members identified as an active or potential resource or support
  • The out-of-home care provider
  • The licensing worker of the out-of-home care provider
  • Service providers working with the family, such as the parent aide
  • The Tribal social service representative and legal representative
  • The court-appointed special advocate
  • The child or parent's Regional Behavioral Health Authority case manager
  • The child or parent's attorney and/or guardian ad litem
  • The assistant attorney general assigned to the case

Youth who are age 14 older may invite two individuals selected by the child who are not the DCS specialist or the foster parent to the case plan staffing.

Invitees also may include the following:

  • Other significant individuals with whom the child may be placed or who have knowledge of or an interest in the welfare of the child
  • The DCS specialist's supervisor
  • School personnel
  • Law enforcement personnel, including probation and parole officers
  • Other DCS personnel or contracted staff

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man., Ch. 3, § 3

All case plans shall identify the following:

  • A permanency goal
  • Concurrent planning activities to ensure that potential or identified alternate caregivers are prepared to care for the child on a permanent basis, if needed
  • The placement type (e.g., foster home, group home, nonrelative, relative, or residential treatment)
  • A danger statement (reasons why DCS is involved with the family)
  • Desired family behaviors
  • The services, strategies, and supports to assist the parents and family to achieve the desired behaviors
  • The child's needs, supports, and services (medical, educational, and psychological)
  • Efforts to maintain educational stability for the child
  • The preparation for adulthood plan (for children age 14 and older)
  • The parenting time (visiting) plan
  • The out-of-home care plan
  • Actions taken to identify an adoptive family for children with a permanency goal of adoption
  • The case plan agreement

For children placed in out-of-home care, an out-of-home care plan must include the following information:

  • The services and supports provided to the caregiver to help him or her meet the child's needs
  • A description of how the placement for the child is in the least restrictive, most familylike setting available
  • A statement that the caregiver has been provided with information about the 'reasonable and prudent parent' standard
  • A description of how the placement is in close proximity to the home of the parent and allows a school-age child to remain in the same school, if possible
  • A statement of how at least one of the child's caregivers speaks the same language as the child, if possible
  • A description of how the placement is consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child