Family and Children’s Services Programs that we provide include:
Child Support services works with custodial and non-custodial parents to ensure children receive adequate financial support. Child Support Enforcement provides the following services:
Locating absent parents
Establishing support orders through the court for medical and financial support
Enforcing court ordered support obligations.
Child support services are available to anyone in the county without regard to income. There may be an application fee not to exceed $25.00.
Work First Employment Services
Work First Employment Services provide case management for families who are receiving Work First beneifts to assist them in removing barriers to work and becoming employed and self-sufficient. If satisfactorily participating, families can be eligible for case management services, work-related expenses, child care, and transportation assistance, Families that go off Work First due to employment are eligible for Retention Services, which allows them to receive mileage reimbursement to and from work for up to one year after they leave Work First. Work First Transportation provides transportation for Work First families to and from their employment, school, and daycare.
Child Protective Services Assessment
Unfortunately, children sometimes are harmed by their parents or caretakers. When suspicion of child abuse or neglect exists, our agency initiates an assessment to determine whether the child is indeed abused, neglected or dependent (has no one available to provide care to them). The purpose of this assessment is to identify any safety concerns and future risk of harm, and to provide services to alleviate these safety factors. If a criminal act has been committed, a referral is made to law enforcement for a criminal investigation.
Child Protective Services Remediation
When a child has been determined to have been abused or neglected by a parent or caretaker, in-home services are offered to the family to remediate the causes of the abuse and neglect so that family functioning is improved and the child can remain safely in his/ her home.
The primary purpose of Foster Care service is to provide a safe temporary placement for children who cannot remain safely in the home of their parent(s). These children are in the custody of the Department of Social Services by court order. The goal of foster care is to implement a plan for permanency for each child. If the child cannot be returned home to the parents, another permanent planned living arrangement is made.
Permanency plans by federal law are:
Reunification with parents
Relative placement in foster care
Guardianship/custody (with a relative or non-relative)
Adoption (by a relative or non-relative)
Another planned permanent living arrangement in foster care (APPLA)
Child placement needs are evaluated, arranged, maintained and supervised in licensed or Court-sanctioned placement, with services to assist in reunification or another permanent plan for the child. The agency provides services in conjunction with the community that are community-based, child centered, and family focused.
These services assist children who cannot safely return to their birth families become part of a legally secure permanent home.
Adoption Services for children in DSS custody include:
Recruitment, Training and Assessment of Families
Child Specific Adoption Recruitment and Preparation
Adoption Placement and Support
Adoption Assistance payments
Post Adoption Services
Our agency also provides home assessments for relative and independent adoptions as requested and available. There are fees for these services. Please contact our adoption staff for more information if interested.
What is the Safe Haven for Abandoned Infants Act (Daniel's Law)?
This state law provides pregnant women with an alternative to abandoning a newborn baby in potentially fatal circumstances such as in the dumpster. Under the Safe Haven Act, an infant can be left with a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agency, fire station, emergency medical services station, or any staffed house of worship during the hours the facility is staffed. The infant must be less than 7 days old, unharmed, and left by the parent or other person acting for the parent. The law provides the parent immunity from prosecution if the conditions are met. A baby left under these conditions will be placed in DSS foster care and adoptions proceedings will be initiated immediately. Contact our local DSS office if you need additional information.