Discover Each Child's Unique Story and Spirit
Interests. Passions. Hopes for the future. These are the things that make every child special.
Click below to learn more about our amazing children.
Thank you to our lead partner, the Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation for supporting the Children's Heart Gallery.
Learn more: loveupfoundation.org
About Children's Heart Gallery
As a part of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, the Children's Heart Gallery heightens the visibility of children in foster care awaiting families. Heart Galleries across the U.S. help to connect hundreds of children with forever families each year.Read Our Story
Become A Volunteer
Volunteering at one of our fun and easygoing events is a great way to meet some of the children, show your support, and help us create profiles that will become part of our gallery.Get Involved
Join us at one of our Heart Gallery events and become a part of creating a better future for Arizona’s children. Sign up today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Arizona Department of Child Safety?
The Arizona Department of Child Safety's primary objective is to keep children safe within their own families. DCS works cooperatively with parents to make that happen. DCS is a program that seeks to help families by strengthening the ability of parents, guardians or custodians to provide good care for their children.
Our Mission is to successfully engage children and families to ensure safety, strengthen families, and achieve permanency. Our vision is to see children thriving in family environments free from abuse and neglect.
To learn please visit our homepage at dcs.az.gov/about.
Who are the children who need foster homes and adoption?
Arizona’s children needing temporary and permanent families are teenagers, toddlers, and infants. Some of the children do have special behavioral and medical needs. The Department also seeks to place sibling groups together whenever possible. The Child Welfare Reporting Requirements Semi-Annual Report provides extensive information about the children in care, including the number of children:
- By age and ethnicity;
- By case plan goal and placement type;
- By length of time in care;
- By legal status;
- Leaving out-of-home care by reason;
- With a case plan goal of adoption; and
- With a finalized adoption.
How is adoption different from foster care?
When children are not able to safely live with their biological family, the Department of Child Safety may become involved and place the child in foster care. Foster care is only a temporary living arrangement for the child, while the children's parents work to remedy the unsafe situation. The activities and changes that the parents need to complete to have their children returned is called a case plan. You may hear "the case plan is reunification" when the goal is to reunite the children with their parents. If the parents are not able to remedy an unsafe situation and the children cannot return home, the case plan goal may change to adoption. In this case, the court terminates the rights of the parents and the child is said to be "free for adoption." Most children who become free for adoption are adopted either by a member of their extended family or by their foster parents.
For other children, an adoptive family - perhaps your family - is sought. In Arizona, families are certified by the court to adopt. The certification process is similar to foster care licensure and includes a fingerprint-based criminal history records check, home study and references. Adoption is a legal process that takes place in the court and makes the child a permanent member of the family.
What are the basic requirements in Arizona for becoming a foster or adoptive parent?
- All applicants must be legal US and Arizona residents.
- Applicants may be married, single, divorced or widowed.
- Be at least 21 years of age (At least age 18 to adopt).
- Applicants and adult household members must pass a fingerprint-based criminal history records check.
- Be physically, mentally and emotionally able to care for children. A current medical statement from each applicant is a required part of the application.
- Provide the names of at least five references who can speak about your parenting abilities.
- Completion of the pre-service education curriculum (the number of hours vary).
- Proof of economic stability.
- A residence that is a safe environment for children (home ownership is not required).
- Active participation in the family and home study process.
How can I find out more about the children on the Children’s Heart Gallery?
Please inquire about a child you are interested in by clicking on their picture and filling out the child inquiry form found below their picture.
How do I start the process to become a licensed foster parent/certified adoptive parent?
What kind of resources are available to help with the adoption process?
Arizona contracts with individual licensing agencies to conduct home studies. The best way to begin the process to become an adoptive parent is by watching the Orientation Videos on our foster care page. While foster care and adoption are different, the videos provide a good overview of the process for both, as well as giving you information about the needs of our children and tips on how to select the agency that will be the best fit for your family.
If you have questions and would prefer to talk with someone, please call us at 1-877 KIDS-NEEDU (1-877-543-7633). We’re happy to talk with you during business hours, or you can leave us a message and we’ll call you back.