Child Welfare Assistance
The Division of Children and Family Services is dedicated to ensuring the safety of children and achieving permanency as quickly as possible for every child. The Division is committed to high quality services, consistent service to specific populations of kids, time limited services with effective oversight and monitoring, and services which enable self sufficiency and independence.
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Intake, Assessment, And Protective Services
Responds to a variety of concerns about children and their families. These concerns may include: possible abuse or neglect, parents, who for reasons of health, mental health, intellectual capacity, or poverty are unable to care for their children and youth whose special care needs are beyond the resources of their families and require child protection intervention. The Screening Unit gathers focused, accurate information that will help make decisions about how to proceed and also to communicate in ways that affirm the reporter’s effort to act responsibly in the interest of the child. If needed, an intake investigation/assessment is conducted. An intake investigation is the systematic and coordinated activities that accurately determine the validity of the identified Child Protection and Child Welfare allegations and concerns in a timely manner. The assessment involves a professional, systematic, strength based, informed approach to gathering and evaluating specific information regarding the identified Child Protection and Child Welfare concerns and allegations about the family to make decisions as to substantiation of maltreatment, protection of the child, and services to the family. Program availability is 24 hours per day, every day.
Ongoing, Protective and Reunification Services
Serves children ages 0-18 who have been identified as being at risk for abuse and neglect, or have significant conflicts within the community. Ongoing caseworkers provide a variety of services focused on a child’s specific case plan that respects family strengths and differences. The three major goals of Ongoing Child Protection are to minimize risk factors to children so that safety can be achieved within the family setting to achieve permanency for children within 2 to 12 months in the least restrictive, most family like setting, and to enable families to achieve safety and well being by utilizing a network of community provides. Services to children and families are provided either voluntarily or court ordered. To achieve our goals, Ongoing Child Protection develops a comprehensive plan reflecting the unique problems and strengths of the individuals being served. Services may include supervised parenting time, transportation, development of family service plans, referral to community agencies to ensure safety and expedite permanency, support, and advocacy, provision of concrete services such as SEAP, emergency housing, and gas vouchers. In addition, Ongoing Child Protection utilizes community partnerships to develop the client’s support system.
Seeks to obtain permanent placements for children in an expedited manner that ensures the best interest of children are met. Oversight is provided for the placement plans and transition for children and youth who are unable to be reunified with their families of birth. Permanency of children outside of their own homes means that children are placed with an adoptive family, placed into long term foster care home, or prepared for independent living through other long term goals such as emancipation. Partnerships occur between placement providers and other professionals involved with these children to provide a comprehensive long-term permanent plan and network of resources for the children and their caretakers.