Understanding the AFDC/TANF Child-Only Caseload: Policies, Composition, and Characteristics in Three States. Interaction with Child Protection Service (CPS)


Alameda County eligibility staff interact with CPS in only rare situations, perhaps when CPS is trying to contact a client or CalWORKs staff are asked to provide information for a court proceeding.

Duval County staff interviewed also said they had very little interaction with CPS. By law they must report cases of abuse to CPS or suspicions of abuse and if a child has been removed from a case they may talk to child welfare to find out when the child is expected to return. However, this is primarily for eligibility purposes only. When CPS is investigating a case in Duval, they will not call and inform TANF. As one TANF worker noted, "There's no reason for them to do so."

In Florida, CPS is also involved after a case has reached the time limit and a decision is made not to offer the parent a hardship exemption. In this situation, CPS will investigate the case to determine if the child is at risk of entering foster care. If so, then benefits will continue and a protective payee will be assigned. In Duval County, CPS has not issued a protective payee for any cases they have reviewed.

Missouri noted that beyond an initial referral from Children's Services, they do not have contact with the agency; both agencies may be working with the same family (handling different responsibilities) but they do not collaborate.