National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: Site Visits Report . Summary


The North Carolina Division of Social Services is a State-supervised, county-administered child welfare system. Catawba County Department of Social Services (DSS) is the child welfare office for the county government. The Department implemented several innovative practices, including the outcomes project, the development of minimum community standards for child safety, an automated client information system, and the colocation of social workers and law enforcement for the investigation of child sexual abuse and extreme physical abuse. In order to focus this report, it was limited to describing the county’s domestic violence policy and practice and the use of family conferencing. The domestic violence policy and practice changes have strengthened relationships between CPS and treatment workers and are expected to increase child safety. Family conferencing has contributed to preventing the removal of children to out-of-home care and increased the likelihood that problems are resolved and the cases closed.

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