Foster Children Deserve Transition Planning

Arizona Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay

Foster care should not be an unstable living environment. Foster children should feel safe and protected by the system. Many foster children run and hide from child safety workers because they fear being moved again with no warning, never knowing if they will be sent to a safe home or an unsafe home. These children deserve appropriate transition planning for every move, whether being sent back to a home where they were previously removed for abuse or neglect or being sent to a new home where everyone and everything is new.

Transition planning is the policy, but it is not the reality. The practice of ripping foster children from stable environments where they feel safe must end immediately, and a mandate must be made that DCS staff follow transition procedures.

You can sign this petition and stand up for the rights of foster children no matter where you live. Please, sign now.

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To: Arizona Department of Child Safety Director Greg McKay
From: [Your Name]

We are asking you, Director McKay, to provide a mandate to all Department of Child Safety staff that they follow transition planning procedures, including:

(1) Before any foster child is moved, a CFT or TDM must occur, and the entire Child and Family Team, including foster parents, guardian ad litem, and child's attorneys, must be invited and given appropriate notice. Transition planning in this meeting must include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) provision for therapeutic needs
(b) the opportunity for the child to say goodbye
(c) transition visits
(d) ensuring the safety of the child after the move

(2) When a child must be removed because of a potential safety issue in a foster home, then the foster parents must be notified immediately and given a written copy of their rights.

We ask that you hold yourself and your staff accountable when procedures are not followed. Please, ensure your staff minimizes the trauma and loss of foster care.