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Child/Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline: 805-654-3200

Children & Family Services

Protecting Children by Strengthening Families

Children and Family Services (CFS) offers help, hope, and opportunities to families and children in need. We do this through preventative work to keep families together, engagement with community partners to strengthen families, and protective efforts, when needed to keep children safe.

We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our policies, procedures, and practices. Our services support the belief that every child deserves a permanent home and every family deserves to stay together in a safe and nurturing environment. We also aspire toward the ideal that children and families thrive when a community works together.

Our three priorities are:

  1. Preventing Family Separations
  2. Safely Reuniting Families as Fast as Possible
  3. Ensuring children and youth who cannot safely return home have lifelong and unconditional family connections

Child Safety

CHILD SAFETY

When a child is abused or neglected, they may need immediate protection, or a family may need extra support to ensure the safety of the child; this is when CFS may become involved.  We investigate reports of abuse and neglect and intervene by partnering with families, offering support to keep children safely in their home whenever possible or to return them home as fast as possible if they need temporary protective custody. Visit English or Spanish for more information on child abuse and child safety.

If you witness or suspect abuse or neglect of a child, call the 24-hour hotline at 805-654-3200.

Homes With Heart

Children who come into out-of-home care require support, mentoring and compassion. They need a place where they can feel safe and secure. They need someone who will show them that their lives have value. As a Resource Family Home, you would be providing comfort, safety, and a loving environment where children and youth can heal and begin to thrive. Your family’s life will be enhanced, expanded, and made more meaningful by becoming a Resource Family Home for children and youth as their families heal. Visit Strengthening families to get more information on becoming a Resource Family Home.

Child & Family Team

Families know what solutions may work best for them. A Child and Family Team (CFT) is a group of individuals identified by the child and family that includes family members, trusted adults, and caring professionals that create a safety network and stay connected to the family once CFS is no longer involved.

An important aspect of this approach is Child and Family Team meetings .  These are scheduled to ensure that the best possible placement decisions are made for children, including for those who cannot live safely with their parents.  They include those individuals that are best equipped to bring together their personal and professional knowledge to make the best decisions for the safety of the child, while preserving strong family and community ties.  The team members may include parents, family members or caregivers, as well as people who support the family, social workers or supervisors, and community representatives.  CFTMs play a critical role in developing plans to allow children to safely remain with their families, as well as to ensure that those children who must be removed from their families are placed in the placement most appropriate to their needs and return to their families as fast as possible.

Family Time

Family Time is quality visitation between children and their families when they have been separated due to safety concerns. Family Time is expected to take place as often as possible and in a natural setting. Based on issues of protection and safety, a judge may decide that for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. CFS arranges visits that are easy on the child and the parents, keeping the child’s safety a priority.  Family time is an important part of a family’s case plan and may contribute to children’s reunification with their parents. Information regarding ways to make supervised visitations positive for parents and their children is available in English and Spanish.

Family Preservation

Family Preservation services are short-term, family-focused services designed to assist families in crisis by building support networks and improving parenting and family functioning while keeping children safe in their home.

Neighbors Together

The Neighbors Together (NT) initiative has piloted culturally relevant strategies to improve outcomes for families in Oxnard that are overrepresented in the child welfare system. The purpose of NT is to address this disproportionality by incorporating best practices, enhancing family engagement, and collaborating and coordinating service delivery with community partners.

IF WE, and our partners, assist at-risk families to build culturally relevant protective factors,

AND WE, use data-informed methods to ensure our efforts meet families’ needs,

THEN, families are stronger and more resilient,

SO THAT, families can keep their children safe and thriving.

Healthy Start

The Healthy Start Program is a partnership between CFS and the Oxnard and Hueneme Elementary School Districts to provide school and community-based prevention services to students and families. Healthy Start Social Workers support positive educational outcomes through collaboration and integration of school, home, and child welfare partnerships.

Respectfully Empowering and Defining Yourself (READY)

The READY Program provides support to social workers as they seek to identify and assist children and youth within the child welfare system who are experiencing or at risk of any form of human trafficking, such as commercial sexual exploitation. The READY Program liaisons with stakeholder agencies, non-profits, law enforcement, and other partners to build a network of response to address child trafficking.

Quality Parenting Initiative

Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is an approach to rebrand and strengthen foster care, refocusing on high quality parenting for all children in the child welfare system. It is built on the belief that excellent parenting with strong, positive relationships is the best way to help children heal as they grow up to become adults. Resource families and biological parents have a voice and teaming occurs with the agency and outcomes for children, youth, and families improve. Visit QPI for more information on Quality Parenting Initiative.

David Swanson-Hollingsworth

Deputy Director
Children & Family Services

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