Our goal is to develop and maintain open, supportive relationships with foster families who feel called to the mission and ministry of serving hurting children and families with the love of Christ.
We provide you with
- Monthly home visits
- Ongoing training
- Material assistance
- Foster care licensing
- Adoption certification
- Mentoring and advocacy
Learn more about becoming an Arms of Love foster family below.
What is a foster home?
In Arizona, if a parent or parents have been found to be unfit and/or unsafe to continue caring for a child or children in their care, the children are removed from the home and become wards of the state. The state, DCS, will first look for relatives who the child can be placed with—these relatives need to be able to pass fingerprint and background checks as well. If no viable relatives can be found, then the child is placed in a foster home or in congregate care if there are no homes available. Families can become licensed for foster care by attending an orientation meeting, finding an agency that’s the best fit for them and attending Foster Parent College.
What are the requirements to become a foster parent?
The state requires that foster parents meet the following criteria:
- Must be 21 years or older
- Have space for additional children
- Legal US and Arizona resident
- Renting or owning a home
- Sufficient, stable income
- Pass a Department of Child Safety background check
- Able to pass a fingerprint-based criminal history records check
- Be cleared by a doctor for physical, emotional and mental fitness
- Your home must pass a Department of Health Services inspection
- Applicants with a pool must attain CPR certification and have a pool fence that meets DHS regulations
- Adequate living space includes a separate bed and dresser for each child
In addition to the state requirements, Arms of Love is looking for families who view foster care as ministry and who want to partner with us to provide hope and care to hurting children and families through Christ-centered ministry. We work with Christian families of all denominations who have a passion for sharing Christ and sharing His love with the children they care for, as well as the child’s family and team.
How do I become licensed to foster?
The orientation is the first step recommended when finding out if foster care is right for you. The Department of Child Safety has an online orientation that is a series of a few short videos. This is required in order for you to proceed to the rest of the licensing process. You can find the orientation here. It is located on the DCS site and includes step-by-step directions.
The next step is choosing an agency. When choosing an agency, we recommend you consider the following:
If you are looking to be licensed with a Christian/faith-based agency, do you agree with their mission statement and ministry perspective? Does the agency have any additional requirements to the state that would be an issue for you?
The next step is to schedule an in-person meeting with us or whichever agency you choose. We will discuss the ministry perspective that we have: that foster care and adoption are ministries and foster and adoptive parents are missionaries in the mission field, sharing Christ’s love with the children in their homes.
After choosing an agency, you will go through Foster Parent College. The training is provided at no cost and will prepare you to become a foster parent. You will learn about the rewards, expectations and process for becoming a foster or adoptive parent and meet professionals who work with children in foster care and adoption. You will also hear about the challenges and successes you can expect to experience as a foster or adoptive parent.
During the class, you will be assigned a licensing worker who will be the one to come alongside you during your foster care journey. Your agency and licensing worker are your partners.
If you are interested in becoming licensed for foster care through Arms of Love, please call (800) 678-0648 to schedule a one-on-one orientation meeting. Upcoming orientations and classes are often listed on our calendar of events here.
Does foster care make a difference in children’s lives?
Yes! By becoming a licensed foster parent, you could help a child stay in their own neighborhood, at their own school and connected with the friends they have. This love and care is needed in every community throughout Arizona.
In addition to licensing and certifying safe and loving homes for children in need, Arms of Love also supports and encourages foster families to share the gospel and Christ’s love with the child(ren) who come into their homes. No matter the amount of time the child spends in an Arms of Love home, the hope and care they receive makes a lasting impact.