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.


CWDA Comments on DHCS CalBH CBC Proposal
Submitted January 13, 2023

DHCS has made strengthening California’s behavioral health system a top priority, particularly for individuals with the greatest needs. To help address ongoing gaps, DHCS intends to apply for a new Medicaid Section 1115 demonstration to expand access to and strengthen the continuum of mental health services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries living with SMI and SED.  The California Behavioral Health Community-Based Continuum (CalBH-CBC) Demonstration aims to amplify the state’s investments and further strengthen the continuum of care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Blog post Diana Boyer

Bringing Families Home Success Stories

This June, funding for the Bringing Families Home (BFH) program is set to end given its one-time, demonstration status. Bringing Families Home provides housing assistance and support for families involved in the child welfare system. Too many families that could safely stay together languish in foster care solely because of their inability to obtain safe and affordable housing; Bringing Families Home is the answer for these families.

Event Amanda Kirchner

FOSTER Documentary Screening in Sacramento
Co-hosted by CWDA April 9, 2019

CWDA joined Participant Media and HBO to present an early screening of FOSTER, a documentary that follows different perspectives in child welfare and foster care within the Los Angeles County system. This film is an honest and unflinching look into the lives of families, youth, caregivers, and social workers. 

Budget Priority

Bringing Families Home Budget Memo

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) and Housing California request support to provide a one-time appropriation of $25 million General Fund (GF) for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21 to continue and expand the existing Bringing Families Home (BFH) Program, which provides critical housing-related supports to child-welfare involved homeless families and those at risk of homelessness in support of family reunification and family maintenance efforts.  

County Tools

Child Welfare Services Courtesy Supervision for Foster Children
County Information

This document lists the county contacts for requesting courtesy supervision and the process for requesting and recording these visits.

CWDA Courtesy Supervision County List

County Tools

Specialized Care Increment (SCI) Matrix

CWDA Children’s Committee adopted this matrix for statewide use by counties to determine SCI rates for foster children and youth. This document contains instructions for the use of the matrix and adoption into county SCI plans.

Download SCI Matrix – June 2018

Budget Priority Diana Boyer

Family Urgent Response System for Foster Youth and Caregivers

CWDA has partnered with CH1LDREN NOW and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association to co-sponsor a budget proposal to provide children and families with the support they need to be successful and increase placement stability for children and youth in foster care. Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula is the legislative sponsor for this budget item and the author of the corresponding bill, AB 2043.

Featured Content

Immigration Resources

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.