Quick Facts: Arizona

Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 57% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 50% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 48% of metrics met 

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met 

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 100% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 44% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 22% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2021: 42
State Ranking 2021: 48

2021 Score

2020 Score



Arizona Highlights

Some areas where Arizona has moved the  needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness  the opportunity to seek legal independence and  live independently and addressing the educational  needs of youth experiencing homelessness. 


Law & Policy

  • The state has extended foster care to age 21 in certain circumstances and allows young adults under 21 to opt back into services after exiting 
    if needed.

  • State law provides partial or full contract rights for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • The state explicitly allows partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.



  • The state allows youth to obtain a state-issued identification card without parental consent.



  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in juvenile justice programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics in the Grand Canyon State, with emphasis on the Systems and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, decreasing contact with the criminal justice system, and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

  • Enact a state law that allows youth in need of care to receive services without court involvement.

  • Allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage (without parental consent)



  • Create a state plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, including a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.

  • Create a state entity – such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services –  that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

  • Create an Interagency Council on Homelessness that mirrors the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), providing a multi-sector approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness.



  • The state should establish and maintain a stipended community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.

  • Ban harmful and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.

  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

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