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DCS Launches New Trauma-Informed Center for Kids Entering Foster Care | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Phoenix, AZ (August 15, 2023)

The Arizona Department of Child Safety celebrated the opening of its innovative, trauma-informed Welcome Center on Tuesday.

The new 50,000-square-foot Welcome Center will be a child’s first stop on their journey to healing.

The facility is designed for children entering care who have experienced significant trauma. It allows DCS staff and service providers to access all needed resources onsite. Children can be assessed both physically and emotionally while staff work to locate a kinship caregiver or match children with a licensed caregiver.

“At this facility, we can meet the immediate needs of infants, toddlers, elementary-aged children, and teenagers all under one roof,” said DCS Director David Lujan. “At DCS we recognize that a family’s interaction with the child welfare system is often the worst moment in one’s life, even when necessary to keep a child safe. Although our time caring for these children at the welcome center is limited, we strived to create a welcoming, trauma-informed space, helping to ensure the child’s initial experience with the child welfare system is as supportive and caring as possible until they can safely return home to their families.”

The Welcome Center opened its doors to children in March 2023. Since that time, 1,000 children have been served at the center.

“When a child experiences the trauma of abuse and neglect, we must do everything we can to help them heal,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “This facility ensures that children who have experienced this type of trauma are treated with the compassion they deserve and can truly begin to heal.”

Welcome Center highlights include:

  • Crisis response room
  • Age-appropriate play and sleeping spaces
  • Onsite cafeteria and commercial kitchen to serve children fresh healthy meals
  • Three outdoor playgrounds; Toddler, Elementary, and Teen – all built with donated funds
  • Sensory room
  • Nursery and Day room for infants
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital Onsite Clinic (Opening soon)

Welcome Center by the Numbers:

  • 212 children on average enter the Maricopa Welcome Center each month
  • 48 hours average duration of each child’s stay
  • 27 percent of all children entering care will stay at the Welcome Center
  • 60 percent of children at the Welcome Center are sibling groups
  • Nearly 1,000 children have been served at the Welcome Center since March 2023
  • $1 million donated by community partners to help create this special place for children.

If you would like to support ongoing needs at the Welcome Center or for children in foster care, please visit azdcs.gov/volunteer.

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