Child Welfare Programs & Services

CDHS’s Division of Child Welfare is comprised of a specialized set of services that strengthen the ability of the family to protect and care for their own children, minimize harm to children and youth, and ensure timely permanency planning. Services stabilize the family situation and strengthen the family’s capacity to care for their children.

Child welfare services include:

  • prevention and intervention services for children, youth, and families at risk of involvement with child welfare. Services are provided to families to safely care for their children prior to involvement or referral to child welfare. Known to child welfare professionals as "Program Area 3", this program area was added in 2013;
  • youth in conflict services reduce or eliminate conflicts between youth and their family members or the community when conflicts affect the youth’s well-being, the normal functioning of the family, or the well-being of the community. Known to child welfare professionals as "Program Area 4", the program focus of services is on alleviating conflicts, protecting the youth and the community, re-establishing family stability, or assisting the youth to emancipate successfully;
  • child protection services are provided to protect children whose physical, mental or emotional well-being is threatened by the actions or omissions of parents, legal guardians, custodians, or persons responsible for providing out-of-home care, including a foster parent, an employee of a residential child care facility, or a provider of family child care or center-based child care. Known to child welfare professionals as "Program Area 5", the focus of services is on providing for the child’s safety, enhancement of family functioning, and addressing the child’s need for permanency;
  • children or youth in need of specialized services are statutorily authorized services to specified children and families when the primary focus of services is no longer protective or Youth in Conflict. Known to child welfare professionals as "Program Area 6", these services include children with subsidized adoptions, children with Medicaid-only services, and children for whom the disposition is no longer reunification (i.e., OPPLA, independent living). 

This Division also directly licenses and monitors contracts for 24-hour out-of-home service providers.

Expand the sections below to explore Child Welfare Programs & Services.