New Welcome Center gives extra support for Arizona youth entering foster care system

Aug 17, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 7:06 am

Welcome Center Welcome Center Welcome Center

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Child Safety has opened a new trauma-informed Welcome Center to facilitate kids’ entry into the state’s foster care system.

A ribbon cutting was held Tuesday at the 50,000-square-foot facility, which opened earlier this year. Gov. Katie Hobbs and former Govs. Doug Ducey and Jan Brewer were among those who attended the ceremony.

The Welcome Center will be many children’s first stop when entering the foster system.

What’s in the Welcome Center?

The campus provides youths with age-appropriate play and sleeping areas, a cafeteria, three outdoor playgrounds, a sensory room and a crisis response room. An onsite Phoenix Children’s clinic will open soon.

“We have all the basic needs here, any hygiene, any clothing to fit any size. Our food is prepared for any kid that might have an allergy, if they have diabetes, anything like that,” said Amy Fox, statewide placement administrator for DCS. 

Every room was designed with intention, Fox added.  

“We were very thoughtful with all the colors that were chosen. You’ll see a lot of greens and blues, and things like that are very calming for children. We also have different sensory activities that the kids can do,” she said.  

How does the facility help children?

Children entering the Welcome Center can be assessed both physically and mentally by providers until a caregiver is located. The new center can sleep up to 48 kids a night, more than double the capacity of the previous facility.  

On average, a child will stay at the DCS Welcome Center for about two days.

“We are matching children to caregivers, we’re not just putting them in any open bed, so sometimes that can take a little longer,” Fox said. “There really is no timeframe of how long they can stay here.”

Hobbs stated 4,000 kids enter foster care in Arizona yearly.

“Our children and teens need a safe supportive space, and the meaningful upgrades in the facility will provide just that,” Hobbs said.

Twenty-seven percent of all children entering foster care, more than 200 per month, will start at the Welcome Center, DCS said.

Since the center’s opening in March, nearly 1,000 children have been served.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

In this Sept. 15, 1966, file photo, then Georgia State Sen. Jimmy Carter hugs his wife, Rosalynn, a...

Associated Press

Jimmy Carter admirers across generations celebrate the former president’s 99th birthday

Attendees on Saturday saw tributes to Jimmy Carter and competed in rounds of trivia that highlighted underappreciated details about his life.

49 minutes ago

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Man kills woman, shoots man then commits suicide in South Phoenix

According to Phoenix police, a Phoenix man shot and killed himself after witnesses identified him as a suspect in an earlier double shooting.

3 hours ago

patrol car in front of caution tape...

Man shot and killed Friday night in downtown Phoenix

Phoenix police detectives are seeking more information after officer found a man with a gunshot wound in downtown Phoenix late Friday night.

4 hours ago

Officer involved shooting Glendale...

Police investigating deaths of 2 men in Glendale

Police are investigating the deaths of two men in Glendale.

5 hours ago

File photo of a night-time crime scene in Phoenix, Arizona....

Man killed after motorcycle crashes into car in Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal collision involving a motorcycle and a car that took place in a Phoenix intersection

7 hours ago

(Photo provided by Peoria Police Department.)...

Police seek assistance in locating endangered senior from Peoria

The Peoria Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating an 83-year-old man who has several medical conditions, for which he receives medical treatment.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

New Welcome Center gives extra support for Arizona youth entering foster care system