Resources for Adoptive Families

Care1st Health Plan is committed to meeting the needs of our adoptive families by providing and making behavioral health services accessible. Care1st understands adoptive families and adopted children may have unique needs. Care1st staff are available to help provide education, coordination, and support to families.

Initiating Care

If an adoptive parent identifies an urgent need for the child to receive behavioral health services, the adoptive parent may directly contact Care1st to obtain a listing of contracted providers who can perform a screening and evaluation of the child. The initial evaluation of the child will take place within seven calendar days after a referral or request for services. If after the screening and evaluation it is determined that the child is in need of behavioral health services, the Care1st contracted behavioral health provider will provide this service within twenty-one calendar days after the initial evaluation.

On completion of the initial assessment

  • The adoptive parent can call the Care1st Care Coordination Department (602-778-1800, option 4 then option 9) if a recommended behavioral health service is not provided to a member within 21 calendar days. The Care1st Care Coordinator will also notify the caller of the requirement to also report the failure to receive the approved behavioral health services to the AHCCCS Clinical Resolution Unit.
  • The adoptive parent may receive services directly from any AHCCCS registered providers, regardless of whether the provider is contracted with Care1st to schedule an appt. If the provider is not contracted with Care1st, the provider must submit the provider's claim to Care1st and accept the lesser of 130% of the AHCCCS negotiated rate or the provider's standard rate.

If the adoptive parent recognizes that the child is in need of crisis services and the crisis services provider in that county is not being responsive to the situation, the adoptive parent may also contact the Care1st Care Coordination Department to assist with coordinating crisis services for the child.

If an adoptive parent, through the Behavioral Health Provider/Child & Family Team, requests Care1st to place an adoptive child in residential treatment because the child is displaying threatening behavior. The provider must submit a Treatment Authorization Request (TAR) and Care1st will respond within seventy-two hours after the request was made. If the adoptive child is hospitalized due to the threatening behavior before Care1st responds, Care1st and its contracted providers will coordinate with the hospital to ensure an appropriate and safe discharge plan. The discharge plan will include recommended follow-up services, including recommendations made by the Child and Family Team (CFT).

For additional details related to the right and responsibilities of adopted parents refer to A.R.S. §8-512.01

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma is highly prevalent, can impact a person at any time during their lifespan and may present as a behavioral health, substance use or physical health conditions. Since trauma can have serious effects on health, behaviors, relationships, work, school, and other aspects of life, it is important for behavioral health, health care, and other providers to gain the knowledge and skills needed to promote healing, recovery, and wellness. A Trauma-Informed Approach, often referred to as trauma-informed care (TIC), is a promising model for organizational change in health, behavioral, health, and other settings that promotes resilience in staff and patients. Key principles of this approach include organizational safety, trustworthiness, transparency, cultural sensitivity, collaboration, and empowerment among and between staff and patients. This approach recognizes the role trauma plays in the lives of patients/consumers and seeks to shift the clinical perspective from “what’s wrong with you” to “what happened to you” by recognizing and accepting symptoms and difficult behaviors as strategies developed to cope with childhood trauma.

Additional resources on trauma-informed care for behavioral health providers, community organizations and adopted families can be found at Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions

Navigating Behavioral Health Services

Adoptive families can have behavioral health, alcohol and substance use services at no cost to them. These services can help with problems like depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), parent-child conflict, or alcohol use. Our Care1st Customer Service team is available to help with accessing services and/or if there are any questions about behavioral health services or providers. Our provider network offers culturally sensitive, individualized and comprehensive service options. Adoptive families are able to access services in a variety of ways:

  • Contacting Care1st Customer Service line at 602-778-1800 or 1-866-560-4042. An adoptive parent can talk to a customer services representative Monday through Friday. Customer Service will help identify a behavioral health provider in the area.
  • Speaking to a Primary Care Provider (PCP)
  • Going to Care1st Health Plans for a list of contracted behavioral health providers

Referral Process

Care1st maintains an effective process for adoptive families to access behavioral health services in a timely manner. An adoptive family may self-refer directly for behavioral health services. If assistance is needed in finding a contracted behavioral health provider the Care1st Customer Service line can assist.

If a behavioral health need is identified by the PCP they are able to refer a member by utilizing one of following ways:

  • Directly contacting an Outpatient Clinic Provider for specific services (i.e. peer support, counseling, etc.) as an intake/assessment and treatment plan must be completed indicating the service(s) to be provided are medically necessary.
  • Contact the provider service line at 602.778.1800 or 1.866.560.4042 to obtain a list of contracted behavioral health providers.
  • Refer to the provider directory:>Providers>Our Network
  • Contact the Care Coordination line Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 602.778.1800, option 4 then option 9
  • Submit a referral to Care Management by using the Care1st Care Management Referral Form, which can be found at Frequently Used Forms

Coordination of Care

Care1st understands the importance of helping our adoptive families so that they receive the right care at the right time. In the event a clinically necessary service added to the service plan is not provided, the adoptive parent can call the Care1st Care Coordination department. The Care Coordination team is able to assist the adoptive parent with connecting with any AHCCCS-registered providers directly, regardless of whether they are a part of the Care1st provider network, to schedule an appointment. Caregivers and guardians can also choose a provider by searching the Care1st Provider Directory.

Please call the Care1st Care Coordination line for assistance at 602-778-1800 option 4 then option 9. One of our care coordinators will be able to follow up with you.

Covered Services

Below is a list of some of the behavioral health services that are covered by AHCCCS. This is not a complete list. All services must be medically necessary. If there are questions about covered services, the Care1st Customer Service line can be contacted or a behavioral health provider, if applicable. For some services, authorization may be required. If Care1st does not approve the service, they will send a notice to the adoptive parent letting them know.

  • Behavioral Health Counseling & Therapy (Individual, Group, and Family)
  • Behavioral Health Screening, Mental Health Assessment and Specialized Testing
  • Rehabilitation Services
    • Skills Training and Development
    • Cognitive Rehabilitation
    • Behavioral Health Prevention/Promotion Education
    • Psycho Educational Services and Ongoing Support to Maintain Employment
  • Other Professional (Traditional Healing, Auricular Acupuncture***)
  • Medical Services
    • Medication Services
    • Lab, Radiology and Medical Imaging
    • Medication Management
    • Electro-Convulsive Therapy
  • Support Services
    • Case Management
    • Behavior Coaching
    • Personal Care
    • Home Care Training (Family)
    • Self Help/Peer Services
    • Home Care Training to Home Care Client (HCTC)
    • Respite Care
    • Supportive Housing
    • Sign Language or Oral Interpretive Services
    • Transportation
  • Crisis Intervention Services
  • Inpatient Services (Hospital & Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility)
  • Residential Services
  • Behavioral Health Day Programs (Supervised, Therapeutic, Medical)


Care1st is committed to providing additional education on the topics mentioned above to providers, members, families, and other parties involved in the member’s care, on an ongoing basis. If you would like to receive additional education, please contact Care1st’s Workforce Development Administrator at Send Mail