Assigned to HHS                                                                                                                     FOR COMMITTEE






Fifty-Sixth Legislature, Second Regular Session




group homes; random drug screening


Requires the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to develop and implement policies and procedures to conduct random quarterly drug screening of employees of a group foster home.


A group foster home is a licensed regular or special foster home that provides foster care services for between 5 and 10 minor children placed in the group foster home (A.R.S. § 8-501). DCS or a licensed child welfare agency, with reasonable belief that the group foster home can safely handle additional children and that the group foster home is not involved with any outstanding concerns, deficiencies, reports or investigations, may place an additional child beyond the prescribed limit if the child: 1) is part of a sibling group already residing in the group foster home; 2) is part of a sibling group that would be separated upon placement due to the limit;
3) previously resided in the group foster home; or 4) is a kinship placement (A.R.S. § 8-514).

State agencies that contract directly with group homes or regional behavioral health authorities that subcontract with group homes are required to: 1) provide a safe, clean and humane environment; 2) be responsible for the supervision of residents while in the home or engaged in off-site activities affiliated with the group home; and 3) be licensed by DCS, the Department of Health Services or the Department of Economic Security (A.R.S. § 36-1201).

DCS may, with reasonable suspicion, test employees for drug or alcohol use using urine or breath testing. Reasonable suspicion is based upon specific, objective and articulated facts as well as any rational inferences from those facts that would lead a reasonable person to suspect an individual has possessed, used or sold illegal drugs or attempted or conspired to do so. Probable cause is not required, but the basis for screening must be substantially more than a hunch. Good cause is required for reasonable suspicion and must be documented. All DCS employees must notify DCS human resources immediately after receiving a citation, arrest, indictment or police contact for a drug or alcohol violation. Employees who violate the Drug-Free Workplace Policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal (DCS).

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.


1.   Requires DCS to develop and implement policies and procedures to conduct random quarterly drug screening of employees of a group foster home.

2.   Prohibits an employee of a group foster home from having contact with any child living at the group foster home before an initial drug screening.

3.   Allows DCS to conduct random drug screening of any group foster home employee if the employee is involved in an accident or incident in which a child that lives at the group foster home is injured.

4.   Requires group foster homes to submit the results of all random drug screenings to DCS within 48 hours.

5.   Becomes effective on the general effective date.

House Action

HHS                2/5/24        DP          9-0-0-1

3rd Read          2/21/24                     39-16-4-0-1

Prepared by Senate Research

March 15, 2024