The CYFD is divided into four operational units, including CPS, the Family and Child Program, Foster Care and Adoption Program, and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services.
The CPS unit screens child abuse and neglect reports, conducts investigations of child abuse and neglect, and provides support services to families in which maltreatment has occurred and there is risk for reabuse. The CPS hotline receives reports of suspected abuse and neglect, requests for guidance, and referrals to counseling, resources, and support services. In addition, staff is available after regular business hours for emergency services.
The Family and Child Program provides intensive and comprehensive assessment and case management services to families. These services are designed to prevent child abuse and neglect, keep families together, improve family functioning, and develop networks of support to sustain families within their communities. Housing assistance is also offered.
The Foster Care Services Program includes placement and supervision of abused and neglected children and youth, and those at risk — from infancy to age 21 — who are temporarily separated from their parents and placed in the legal custody of the department. Independent living life-skills services are available to foster care teens. Adoption services include placement services for children with special needs; adoption counseling for birth parents; and postadoption support services for families with special needs, including older children, sibling groups, and children with emotional or behavioral difficulties.
The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services unit supports families who are at risk of child abuse or neglect. Prevention services are offered through multiple programs, each working in partnership with other public and private organizations and community members to strengthen parental capacities. Programs include Healthy Families, the Nurturing Parent Education program, and mentoring programs for parents and children. In addition, an array of health, educational, and peer support services are provided at three neighborhood-based family resource centers.