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.

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.

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.

Online Resource

The Equity Project

The Equity Project is an initiative to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in juvenile delinquency courts are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness, with training curriculum and resources that are applicable in the child welfare context. The Equity Project examines issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE) that impact youth during the entire delinquency process, ranging from arrest through post-disposition.

Online Resource

Latino Family Practices Committee Resource Website

This website contains links to data, research, policies and practice guides to support counties’ work with Latino families in the child welfare system.


Guidelines for Managing Information Related to the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity and Expression of Children in Child Welfare Systems

The publications contains information and resources for child welfare professionals to better serve LGBT children and youth in foster care. Includes how best to collect, record, and disclose information on the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of children and youth in foster care. Developed in partnership with Legal Services for Children, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, these guidelines will help agencies identify, track, and assess the needs and outcomes of LGBT children and youth.


Child Welfare Services Workload Studies

As a result of legislation, SB 2030 (Statutes of 1998) California completed an evaluation of the Child Welfare Services workload and budgeting methodologies. This study and its findings were further evaluated in 2007 by UC Davis Center for Public Policy Research with findings contained in the following reports.


In-Home Behavioral Supports in Foster Care
Part of Webinar Series on Resource Family Recruitment/Retention/Support Series

CWDA, San Luis Obispo County Social Services Department, and the Family Care Network, Inc. hosted a webinar on January 28 to share information on increasing capacity and support to resource families in California and improve outcomes for children and youth in our child welfare system.