Child/Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline: 805-654-3200
More 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.
Children & Family Services – Teaming Together for Best Solutions
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 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.
The Human Services Agency does not require COVID-19 testing or ask applicants about their health status in connection with their application for benefits. Similarly, children may only enter foster care if they have experienced or are at risk of abuse or neglect. Children cannot be placed in foster care just because a parent may be ill.
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.
Tip Sheets for Parents
- Bonding With Your Baby – English / Spanish
- Dealing With Temper Tantrums – English / Spanish
- Connecting With Your Teen – English / Spanish
- Teen Parents. . .You’re Not Alone! – English / Spanish
- Ten Ways to Be a Better Dad – English / Spanish
- Raising Your Grandchildren – English / Spanish
- Military Families – English / Spanish
- How to Develop Strong Communities – English / Spanish
- Parenting Your Child With Developmental Delays and Disabilities – English / Spanish
- Tips for Helping Kids Cope After a Traumatic Event
Learn more about Child Welfare by visiting our Child Welfare Data Page