FRESNO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES Child Protective Agency Division
MISSION AND GOAL• The department’s mission is to promote a system of best practice in partnership with the community, committed to prevention and early intervention, that ensures child safety, permanence and stability, family well-being, that is proactive, strategic, outcomes-based and fiscally responsible to the children and families served.• In order to fulfill this mission the employees of the department provide assessment, intervention, prevention, placement, and mental health treatment services to both the children and their families.
SOCIAL JUSTICE• Child welfare is the main social justice issue at hand. The department was put in place to seek justice for the child who are victims of abuse or neglect and to keep the best interest of the children in mind no matter wha
POPULATIONS AT RISK• The population the department serves is any child who falls under or is at risk for falling under any of the California Child Welfare and Institution 300 codes which include…• (a) Physical Abuse: The child has suffered or will suffer physical harm which was purposefully inflicted by parent or guardian.• (b) General Neglect: Parent(s) or guardian of the child has failed to or is unable to protect or supervise their child from harm or illness.• (c) Emotional Neglect: The child is suffering serious emotional damage as a result of the conduct of the parent or guardian or because the child has no parent or guardian capable of providing care.• (d) Sexual Abuse: The child has been sexually abused as defined in sub-divison (b) of section 11165.1 of the penal code by a parent/guardian or member of the household or the parent/guardian has failed to protect the child adequately from sexual abuse when the parent/guardian reasonably should have known the child was in danger of sexual abuse.
POPULATIONS AT RISK• (e) Severe physical abuse of a minor under the age of five: A child under the age of five has suffered severe physical harm by the parent/guardian or any person known by the parent, if the parent knew that the person was physically abusing the child, or the parent reasonably should have known that the person was physically abusing the child.• (f) Causing the Death of Another Child: A child whose parent/guardian caused the death of any other child by abuse or neglect that can be filed on.• (g) Cruelty: A child who has been subjected an act or acts of cruelty by the parent/guardian, a member of the household or anyone else the parent failed to protect the child from or that the person reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being subjected to an act or acts of cruelty.• (j) Child at risk of abuse or neglect similar to that suffered by a sibling: A child whose sibling has been abused as defined in subdivions (a, d, e, or i) or has been neglected as defined in (b, d, e, or i) and there is a substantial risk that the child will be abused by the same divisions listed above. The child’s age and gender should be taken into consideration.
D.S.S. STRUCTURE• In order to better assist our community, the department is divided into different sections that are in charge of different aspects of child welfare. Those areas include…• Emergency Reponse (ER): This is the area where I am placed. This is the place where the referral of abuse or neglect was made and where it is investigated. After the ER worker investigates the referral they either close the referral as unfounded meaning there was no evidence of abuse or promote the referral to case if the abuse or neglect was substantiated meaning that the referral allegations were true.• Family reunification (FR): This area of the department receives cases in which the children have already been removed from the home. The FR worker’s responsibility is to try and offer services to the family in order to help them reunify. After removal of the children parents have a limited amount of time to reunify depending on the age of the child.
D.S.S. STRUCTURE CONTINUED…• Family Maintanence (FM): This area is in charge of cases in which the children reunified with the family. Most of the cases in FM have high risk children due to the fact that they are back in the home with the perpetrator. The FM worker continues to give services to the family in order to ensure that they maintain the progress that they have made.• Permanency Planning (PP): The social workers in this area are assigned children that were unable to reunify with their families and whose parents have lost parental rights. The main goal here is to find a permanent living arrangement for that child. Adoption, legal guardianships, and long term foster care are the main options for the children.
D.S.S. STRUCTURE CONTINUED…• Independent Living Program (ILP): This area of the department provides services to the probation and foster youth of the county ages 14- 21. The program provides these children a sense of belonging and equip them with the necessary skills for self sufficiency.• Adoption: Fresno county has its own public adoption agency in which its priority is to ensure that all eligible adopted children, including those relinquished and adopted through private agencies, have access to adoption assistance funds to help support permanency in their adoptive families.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT• The department of social services, also referred to as CPS, is a very important agency because it protects the rights of the children. Every child has the right to a live a happy and healthy lifestyle free for harm or neglect.• Social Workers in this department strive to do their best practice and incorporate the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics in order to help assist the children in need.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHART OFTHE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM