Children's Services


Children’s Services

County human service agencies work with the community to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth through the programs of Child Welfare Services, Foster Care and Adoption. County staff provide protective and supportive services in the belief that children and their families deserve stable nurturing homes and a supportive environment. County staff are responsible for responding to allegations of abuse and neglect, intervening in child abuse and neglect situations, providing services to families in which children are at risk and are responsible for finding children permanent, loving homes when returning to a biological family is not an option.

Featured Content

Immigration Resources

Click here to link to the John Burton for Advocates for Youth webinar “Immigration and Child Welfare:  What Do We Need to Know in 2017?” and here for the accompanying slides. In addition, click here to link to a web seminar conducted by the Immigrant Legal Resources Center on family preparedness planning, which was referenced in the presentation.

Featured Content

Approved Relative Caregiver (ARC) Calculator

This workbook has been designed by county staff as a tool for eligibility workers to calculate ARC benefits with minimal manual calculations and table lookup, as well as to minimize manual reconciliation by county fiscal staff.

Budget Priority

Mental Health Children’s Crisis Services – Oppose Proposed Funding Reduction

CWDA opposes the proposed $17 million State General Fund reduction in the Governor’s budget for the development of a continuum of mental health crisis services for children and youth.

Budget Priority

Psychotropic Medication Review – Support National Center for Youth Law Request

CWDA supports the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) request to establish a centralized psychotropic medication review for children in foster care. By leveraging a 75 percent federal match, this budget request would bring in $240,075 additional federal funds each year to ensure California’s foster children only receive psychotropic medications that are appropriate and medically necessary.

Budget Priority

Child Care Eligibility For Abused, Neglected Children In Foster Care

CWDA is requesting support for a proposed statutory clarification related to the calculation of foster care grants for children receiving services through the subsidized child care system. This change is needed to ensure abused and neglected children receive appropriate child care and development services without delay.

Budget Priority

2016-17: Bringing Families Home Established

The final 2016-17 budget agreement includes $10 million General Fund on a one-time basis for the Bringing Families Home program, which is a grant program to reduce homelessness among families that are part of the child welfare system.


Courtesy Home Inspection Referral Form

This form should be used when requesting a courtesy home inspection for relative/NREFM approval.


Intercounty Agreement/Guidelines Form

This form outlines the roles and responsibilities of the sending and receiving county when assisting with the relative/NREFM approval process.


Inter County Transfer Protocol

These forms are for county child welfare agencies to facilitate the transfer of case records for dependents between counties.


Child Born to Mother Incarcerated/Hospitalized in a State Institution

An incarcerated mother has the right to make an appropriate plan for her child, and child welfare services need not become involved.

County Tools

AB 12 County Contact List for Re-Entries

This is a resource for county agencies on who to contact if a youth is re-entering foster care as a non-minor dependent under AB 12, to resume jurisdiction in the county of origin.

County Tools

Specialized Care Rate Program Contacts

This list identifies child welfare agency representatives who can assist other counties to ensure proper payment of any applicable specialized care rates for foster children placed into their counties.

County Tools

Counties Participating in Courtesy Supervision

This list identifies the counties and procedures for requesting courtesy supervision for children placed out-of-county.

General information

Information on Unaccompanied Minors/Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

In fall 2014, CWDA compiled state and federal resources to assist county human service agency staff as they assisted with processing and placement of unaccompanied minors and unaccompanied immigrant children due to an influx in children fleeing Central America in recent years.

IT Project

Child Welfare Services New System (CWS-NS) Project

The CWS-NS project is undertaking a new approach to human services automation projects, which has proven successful in other industries. California is the first state in the nation to use this “agile” approach to develop a system with the complexity and sensitivity to support child welfare services.

Online Resource

California College Pathways

California College Pathways (CCP) provides resources and leadership to campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed at community colleges, vocational schools, and four-year universities. Visit the CCP website.

Online Resource

California Foster Youth Pregnancy Prevention Institute

The goal of the California Foster Youth Pregnancy Prevention Institute is to reduce the alarming rate of pregnancy among foster youth in California by providing evidence-informed strategies and resources to county child welfare agencies, non-profit service providers, and youth.

Online Resource

After 18 – California Fostering Connections to Success Act

Find information that gives foster youth the option to remain in foster care and receive services and supports until age 21. CWDA was a lead supporter of this monumental law that took effect January 1, 2012.

Online Resource

getR.E.A.L. National Network

The national network for getR.E.A.L. (Recognize. Engage. Affirm. Love) initiative is designed to help transform child welfare policy and practice to promote the healthy development of all children and youth. Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, along with race, ethnicity and disability, are part of the identity formation that occurs in adolescence.