Chapter 5 : Section 37

ICPC: Overview, Referrals, & Placement


The Department shall comply with the terms and procedures specified in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). These procedures include:

  • how referrals for interstate placements are to be made;

  • which state or agency is responsible for support of the child and supervision of the living arrangement; and

  • how information regarding the status of the child is to be shared.

The Department’s ICPC Office shall :

  • review ICPC referrals and send them to the Compact Administrator in the receiving state;

  • refer requests for placement in Arizona to a local receiving agency for a home study and recommendations;

  • notify the sending state's Compact Administrator of the approval or denial of the living arrangement; and

  • facilitate communication between DCS and other states as required.

Any person, court, or public or private agency wishing to place an Arizona child for care in another state must proceed through the ICPC. Similarly, any person, court, public or private agency in another state wishing to place a child for care in Arizona must proceed through the ICPC.

ICPC Regulation 7 Expedited Referral Requests

The Department ICPC Office shall process expedited or priority requests when a child under the jurisdiction of a court meets the following criteria:

  • unexpected dependency due to a sudden or recent incarceration, incapacitation or death of a parent or guardian;

  • child is four years of age or younger, including other siblings that are to be placed with the same proposed caregiver;

  • court finds that any child in the sibling group sought to be placed has a substantial relationship with the proposed caregiver; or

  • child is currently in a shelter.

The Specialist shall send an expedited referral packet within two business days of the Judge’s signature to the Arizona ICPC Office. An expedited referral packet shall include:

  • a court order with the specified reason for the expedited request; and

  • sending State’s Priority Home Study Request, Form ICPC-101.

The ICPC expedited or priority requests cannot be requested or approved for the placement of a child with licensed foster care or adoptive homes, or in situations where the child is already in the receiving state in violation of the ICPC.

The ICPC referral and approval process must be followed when:

  • a child in the Department’s custody, pursuant to a court order, is to be placed in another state with a parent or relative, or in a foster home or group care facility;

  • a child in out-of-home care is to move to another state with the out-of-home caregiver;

  • a child is to be placed on a pre-adoptive basis in a home in another state;

  • a child in a pre-adoptive home is to move to another state with the prospective adoptive parents;

  • an individual with custody of a child wishes to arrange for that child to live in another state (please note the following exception: ICPC does NOT apply when the custodian is the child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, guardian, adult aunt or uncle, or adult sibling, and it is intended for the child to live out of state with the custodian, a different relative or a non-agency guardian); or

  • a child who is being placed in a residential treatment/behavioral health center for temporary treatment for a behavioral health condition, regardless of whether the child is under the jurisdiction of a court for delinquency, abuse, neglect, or dependency, or as a result of action taken by a child welfare agency.

The ICPC does not apply when:

  • a child is placed in a hospital or any other medical facility;

  • a child is placed in an institution that is primarily educational, such as a boarding school;

  • a child is placed long-term in an institution for the mentally ill, mentally defective or epileptic;

  • a child is sent to another state for a visit of less than 30 days with no expectation of interstate placement, request for home study, or request for supervision;

  • a child is placed in another state under the provisions of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Juveniles or any other agreement between states which has the force of law; or

  • an individual, agency or institution makes a routine inquiry, which is not expected to result in interstate placement.

Placement of Children

The Department shall not receive a child from another state for placement or place a child in another state until the receiving state’s Compact Administrator has approved the ICPC referral (as reflected on the ICPC-100A) and the proposed living arrangement does not appear to be contrary to the best interest of the child and does not violate any applicable laws in the receiving state.

Once a requested living arrangement is approved, the sending and receiving agencies shall negotiate placement and supervision arrangements. Approval, as reflected on the signed ICPC-100A, is valid for only six months from the date of signature. The local receiving agency is responsible for supervision of the living arrangement, and shall provide:

  • services to the child as indicated in the referral;

  • in-person contact with the child and caregiver in their home at least once every month;

  • other services that are agreed to in writing with the sending agency; and

  • quarterly written supervisory reports to the local sending agency.

Both the sending and receiving agencies are responsible for informing the other state of any changes in the status of the interstate living arrangement.

All significant written and verbal information shall be documented and forwarded to the ICPC Administrator.

Placement of a child in violation of the terms in the ICPC is a violation of the laws of both states and may be punished or subject to penalty in either jurisdiction. In addition, any such violation shall be grounds for the suspension or revocation of any license, permit or other legal authorization held by the sending agency.

Placement of Adjudicated Delinquents

For adjudicated delinquents, the ICPC only addresses placement in privately-operated institutions, such as residential treatment centers.

The ICPC applies for the placement of adjudicated delinquent children in a residential treatment center in another compact jurisdiction if:

  • the youth has a court hearing;

  • the youth and the youth’s parent or guardian has an opportunity to participate in the hearing;

  • the court finds that equivalent facilities for the child are not available in the sending agency's jurisdiction; and

  • the court finds that a residential treatment center in another state is in the youth's best interest and will not cause the youth or youth's family undue hardship.

Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ)

The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections is the sole authority of the Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ) for Arizona and provides for the placement of adjudicated delinquent children with a parent or in foster care in other states.

ICJ governs the proper supervision or return of juveniles, delinquents, and status offenders who are on probation, parole or runaway status and have absconded, escaped, or run away from supervision and control.

Jurisdiction and Financial Responsibility for Children Placed through ICPC

The sending person or entity shall retain jurisdiction over the child. The sending person or entity shall determine all matters in relation to the custody, supervision, care, treatment and disposition of the child.

Jurisdiction ends when the child is adopted, deceased or discharged with appropriate concurrence of the receiving state, or when the child reaches the age of majority.

When a living arrangement for a child placed via ICPC terminates for any reason, the Compact Administrators of both states shall be notified of closure by completing and sending the ICPC-100B.

The Department is responsible for the financial support and planning for a child under the custody of the Department. This includes the cost of sending the child to another state and for the cost of returning a child to Arizona.

If the child is in the custody of another person, agency or court, that individual or entity is responsible for the activities and costs mentioned above.


Prior to a child’s placement in another state, the DCS Specialist and the proposed caregiver should discuss the child’s ongoing medical and dental care. For further information, refer to Medical Services for ICPC Children.

Referrals from Arizona

The DCS Specialist must complete a referral packet, as outlined in the ICPC Referral Checklist, to refer a child for out-of-state placement through the ICPC. The DCS Specialist will gather, place the documents in the following order, and send via DocuSign or interoffice mail to ICPC Office, Site Code C010-19:

  • Form ICPC-100A;

  • Cover letter;

  • Statement from DCS Specialist;

  • Title IV-E determination notice, DCS-1817;

  • Financial-Medical Form;

  • Current Court Order - showing that AZ has legal care, custody and control of the child;

  • Current Case Plan;

  • Current Dependency Report to the court (within the past year);

  • Child Summary;

  • Copy of the Birth Certificate;

  • Social Security card or number verification;

  • Current school report card or progress report; and

  • Current Medical Summary Report (showing that the child has been seen within the past year).


If a child's current caregiver (foster, kinship or parent) relocates to another state with the child, Specialist's must send the following documents via DocuSign or interoffice mail to ICPC Office, Site Code C010-19:

  • form ICPC-100B;

  • approved home study;

  • foster license, if applicable.

The DCS ICPC Office will contact the Specialist for additional information as needed.

Placing an Arizona Child in another state through ICPC

After approval of the ICPC request, as reflected on the ICPC-100A, and before sending the child to the receiving state, the DCS Specialist will:

  • staff with DCS Supervisor; and

  • submit a motion for change in physical custody.

Once the change in physical custody is approved, the DCS Specialist may place the child in another state. The DCS Specialist will:

  • Complete the Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status, ICPC-100-B within five (5) days of child being placed in the other state:

    • Place one copy in the hard copy record, and

    • Send the original and one (1) copy to the Arizona ICPC Administrator; and

  • Immediately notify DCS CHP that the child has moved to another state.

  • To initiate payment to an ICPC caregiver, the DCS Specialist will complete the Service Request within two working days of placing the child out-of-state. See Chapter 4 Section 10 Foster Care Rates, Allowances & Payments for more information.

When another state requests to have a child placed in Arizona

The ICPC Office will send referral to a contracted local receiving agency. The contracted local receiving agency will:

  • Upon receipt of a referral packet, complete a home study. The home study includes a(n):

    • description of the family's relationship with the child and their prior knowledge of the child;

    • evaluation of the family's capacities to meet the needs of the child as described in the referral packet;

    • description of the health and education needs of the child;

    • identification of any community resources needed by the child; and

    • recommendation to approve or deny placement.

  • Send three copies of the home study to the Department’s ICPC Office within 60 working days of when the request was received.

  • The Department’s ICPC Office reviews and distributes the home study.

  • When an out-of-state child is placed in Arizona, the ICPC Specialist should create a case record containing the following:

  • Interstate Compact Placement Request, ICPC-100-A, indicating approval;

  • Placement evaluation; and

  • “Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status,” ICPC-100-B.

Written Supervisory Reports

When a child from another state is placed in Arizona or an Arizona child is placed in another state through the ICPC, quarterly reports will detail the child’s progress while in out-of-home care, including progress with the out-of-home caregiver, school, health care, etc.

Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status (ICPC-100-B)

The DCS Specialist must complete the ICPC-100B when:

  • a child is placed or is coming from another state (this serves for supervision services to begin and must be submitted within five days from the date the child was placed);

  • there is a change in the living arrangement (for example a child’s living arrangement changing from a relative caregiver to a foster parent); or

  • closing the case or canceling the referral.

The original Interstate Compact Report on the Child’s Placement Status (ICPC-100-B) is retained in the originating state’s case record. The ICPC Office will forward four (4) copies to the originating state’s Deputy Compact Administrator.

Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ)

For children under DCS care due to runaway status from another state, the DCS Specialist will:

  • Contact the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections ICJ Extradition Specialist at or (602) 364-3509 in order for the Extradition Specialist to coordinate with the ICJ office in the youth's home state.

  • Schedule a hearing, as the youth must appear in court to be informed of their ICJ due process rights.

    • The court will consider the youth’s opinion.

    • If the youth agrees to voluntarily return to the home state, the youth must be returned to the home state within five business days. The ICJ Extradition Specialist coordinates transportation arrangements with the home state.

If the youth does not agree to voluntarily return to the home state, the legal guardian, custodial agency, or other authority in the home state must file a requisition. The Arizona ICJ office forwards the requisition to the appropriate court and requests a hearing to be held within 30 days. The youth may be held in detention for up to 90 days pending a non-voluntary return.

The requester in the home state must provide documents to support the basis for entitlement for the youth’s return. If the court orders the requisition, the youth must be returned within five days. This time frame may be extended for an additional five days with approval from both ICJ offices.

International Placements

When considering placing an Arizona child in an international living arrangement, the DCS Specialist will coordinate with the ICPC Office to work with vendor, International Social Service USA (ISS-USA). The DCS Specialist will:

ISS-USA cannot provide international adoption home studies. For more information on providers who participate in international adoption home studies see U.S. Department of State Adoption Service Provider Search.


Keep a copy of the ICPC referral packet and all subsequent communication in the hard copy case file.

For any children placed through ICPC, document any significant written and verbal communication with agencies in other states using Notes designated as Collateral Type.

Forward copies of all written interstate correspondence to the Arizona ICPC Administrator, Site Code C010-19.

Effective Date: February 1, 2021
Revision History: November 30, 2012, November 13, 2020