Child Welfare Services
If you think a child is endangered, call the 24-hour hotline immediately at (805) 654-3200.
Reports will be kept confidential and callers may remain anonymous.
In Case of Emergency, call 911.
Child Protective Services provides safety and protection for children who are experiencing or are at risk of:
- physical abuse
- sexual molestation
- severe neglect, including severe malnutrition, acute untreated medical condition, general neglect, including unsanitary, unsafe or inadequate housing, no food or clothing, or being left alone or without supervision
- not having a parent or guardian, meaning a parent who cannot provide adequate care due to mental illness or substance abuse, a parent who is overwhelmed, or abandonment
- emotional abuse.
If you witness or suspect abuse call the 24-hour hotline at (805) 654-3200 .
Mandated reporters must first call the hotline to report suspected child abuse or neglect and must also submit a written report. Mandated reporters may obtain forms here.
Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training is a self-paced, online program that provides an overview of the significant definitions, requirements and protections of the California Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Act. (Takes up to 4 hours to complete.)
Preventing Child Abuse
SafeCare, an evidence based parent training curriculum designed to reduce child neglect, is a program offered through a partnership with Aspiranet. SafeCare is initiated by child welfare social workers and provides families with a variety of in-home services. Learn more about SafeCare.
Strengthening Families – The Five Protective Factors
The Five Protective Factors are: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children. Research supports the notion that when these Protective Factors are well established in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminishes. Click here for more.
Parents & Child Protective Services
When a child is abused or neglected, he or she may need immediate protection, or a family may need extra support to ensure the safety of the child; this is when Children & Family Services may become involved. If Children & Family Services becomes involved, the parent and a social worker work together to develop a plan that may include counseling, substance abuse treatment, parent education or other services to address the family’s needs.
Child and Family Team Meetings
Children & Family Services strives to partner with children and families to empower them to be active participants in their case planning, as they are experts in what solutions may work best for them. An important aspect of this “teaming” approach is Child and Family Team meetings (CFT). CFT meetings are scheduled to ensure that the best possible placement decisions are made for children, including for those who cannot live safely with their parents. CFT meetings 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. CFT meetings 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.
Based on issues of protection and safety, a judge may decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is called supervised visitation. Children & Family Services arranges visits that are easy on the child and the parents, keeping the child’s safety a priority. Visitation is an important part of a family’s case plan and may contribute to children’s reunification with their parents.