Welcome to DCS Program Policy

This manual is the Department's interpretation of applicable federal and state laws and administrative code. This manual provides overall guidance for Department of Child Safety field staff, however, practice is implemented upon individual case circumstances.

Links to forms found in the DCS Policy and Procedures manual are not enabled for external users; however, forms referenced in the DCS Policy and Procedures Manual that have been approved for public view (and use) may be accessed through the DCS website at: https://dcs.az.gov/data/dcs-forms. If you have difficulty accessing a particular form, please free to contact us at PolicyUnit@azdcs.gov for assistance.

This manual is divided into seven (7) Chapters:

Chapter 1: Hotline and Intake describes hotline functions and intake procedures

Chapter 2: Investigations, Assessment includes policy and procedures that are to be used in the investigation and assessment of child abuse and neglect reports

Chapter 3: Case Planning and Services describes opening a case for services, case planning voluntary, in home, and out-of home services and supports to children and families

Chapter 4: Out of Home Care focuses on policy and procedures for placement assessment and selection

Chapter 5: Child Permanency describes family reunification, adoption services, adoption subsidy, guardianship, young adult programs, and ICPC

Chapter 6: Indian Child Welfare focuses on policy and procedures related to working with American Indian children and families

Chapter 7: Records, Legal, Quality Assurance and Supervision gives direction on record organization, legal, quality assurance processes and information on the Supervision process

Each chapter has a heading with a Chapter number and Section. The first number matches the unit in which each Chapter can be found. The Section number divides the chapter into topics relating to the overall chapter subject. For example, Chapter 2: Section 3 describes interviewing policy and procedures in the Investigation and Assessment Unit. Each chapter/section contains the following five elements: policy, procedures, forms, related information and legal.

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For assistance in using the manual, questions or clarification of policies and procedures and suggestions for improvement should be sent to Policy Unit.