Los Angeles County
Department of Children
and Family Services
DCFS Mission Statement
The Department of Children and Family Services, with public, private and
community partners, provides quality child welfare services and supports so
children grow up safe, healthy, educated and with permanent families.
The Key Three Goals for L. A. County Department of Children
and Family Services
1. Improved Permanence
Shorten the timeliness for permanency for children removed from their 2. Improved Safety
families with a particular emphasis on reunification, kinship and adoption.
Reductions in the emancipation population will also be critical.
Significantly reduce the recurrence rate of abuse or neglect for children 3. Reduced Reliance on Out-of-Home Care
investigated and reduce the rate of abuse in foster care.
Reduce reliance on out-of-home care through expansion of alternative
Services Provided by the LA Co DCFS:
* Agency / General Adoptions
* Independent Adoptions
* Placement and Recruitment
* Post-Adoption Services
* Adoption Promotion and Support Services
* Step-Parent Adoptions
American Indian Child Welfare Unit
This unit provides culturally appropriate, case management services to American Indian children and families Asian Pacific Program
under the legal mandate of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act (Public Law 95-608). The units provide case
management services to Indian families countywide.
This Program serves the Asian/Pacific Islander communities. The Program is capable of handling
approximately 12 languages/dialects spoken in the target communities. The Program's CSWs provide from
the time a case is received from the Child Abuse Hotline until services are terminated by our department.
Black Family Investment Project
The purpose of the Black Family Investment Program is to help African American families stay together; to Central Los Angeles Sexual Abuse Unit (CLASAU)
assist parents in developing new strategies to rear their children and techniques to guide their children away
from anti-social activity and destructive gang involvement. This program provides short-term intensive, in
home family and community based services to African American families, culturally sensitive, pre-placement
prevention, placement avoidance and family preservation/support services to children at risk of removal from
their families. For more information, call Program Manager, Andrew Matlock at (323) 290-8443; Terri Doyle,
SCSW at (323) 290-8749 or Rhonda Wilson, SCSW at (323) 290-8748.
Provides clinical services to families that are involved with sexual abuse. The program also provides
internship programs for staff seeking licensure. We utilize licensed clinicians within the Department to provide
the hours of supervision.
Child Sexual Abuse Program
This program provides group therapy for families where intrafamilial child sexual abuse has occurred. Both Deaf Services Unit (DSU)
parents and the children meet weekly with master's level students, graduates, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
(LCSW), Licensed Marriage, and Family Therapist (LMFT) interns.
This unit provides the full range of public child welfare services (from Emergency Response to Permanency
Planning) for abused/at risk deaf children, their hearing siblings and their deaf or hearing parents. The DSU
staff is representative of the deaf, partially hearing, and hearing communities. Sign language interpreters are
utilized, as case situations require.
Family Assessment Services Team (FAST)
FAST utilizes a multidisciplinary assessment in serving families with children at risk of gang violence. The
assessment team includes representatives from DCFS, Mental Health, Probation, Law Enforcement and the
Board of Supervisors.
Family Group Decision Making
Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) provides an opportunity for extended members of a family referred to
DCFS to aid in the course of preserving families, or providing permanency for children if placement is needed.
Family to Family
Family to family builds community partnerships to facilitate placements and achieve permanency for children
in their community, and assists in the development, training and support of placement resource families.
The Department has collaborated with its community partners to provide assessment and treatment services
as needed, to children supervised by the Department. The goal is to assist the Children's Social Worker in
developing an appropriate case plan to meet the unique needs of children under our care.
Latino Family Preservation
This community-based program operates in areas where there is a high concentration of Latino families Medical Placement Unit (MPU)
involved with the child welfare system. The five goals of the program are child protection, family
preservation, family empowerment, reduced need for Dependency Court intervention, and to serve as an
efficient and cost effective model for service delivery.
This unit provides case management services to children who are medically fragile and/or with special needs as Minor Parent-Teen Pregnancy Disincentive Program
defined by AB636. Medically fragile children have conditions requiring special procedures, equipment,
devices and/or ongoing medical care and assessment. The Medical Placement Unit assists parents and
caretakers by arranging for the training required to care for these children. Two MPU CSWs function as a
central locator of foster homes, small family homes, group homes, and specialized care facilities.
The Teen Pregnancy Disincentive Program creates a new requirement for TANF eligibility for unmarried Public Health Nursing
pregnant or parenting teens. In order to receive TANF benefits, minor parents must live in the home of her
parent(s), legal guardian, and an adult relative or in an adult-supervised living arrangement unless they meet
one of the exemptions to the live-at-home rule.
Public Health Nursing Program assists the CSW to promote health, prevent disease, and facilitate the provision Rites of Passage Program
of health care services allowing children to reach their optimal level of health. Public Health Nurses, located in
SPA offices, are available to assist the CSW in ensuring that children receive proper medical care, assessment,
and to aid in cases that require medical consultation.
The Rites of Passage Program teaches the ten-step rites of passage, consisting of spiritual, emotional, social, Runaway Adolescent Program
personal, mental, cultural, historical, political, economic, and physical components. The youth that
participate in Rites of Passage are exposed to educational workshops, field trips, skill development training,
violence prevention methods, martial arts, dance, tutoring and study groups. Rites of Passage teaches
concepts which are fundamental to the process of passage from child to adulthood.
Provides protective services for homeless youth. The staff work very closely with the shelters in the Sensitive Case Unit
community. The majority of these youth are located in the Hollywood and Santa Monica areas.
This unit provides protective services to children whose parents are DCFS employees, political officials, law Special Immigrant Status Program
enforcement personnel or a high profile case (i.e., one involving public figures from the entertainment
industry, professional athletes, etc.).
The task of this unit is to provide outreach, identify the child's undocumented status, and file an application on
behalf of the child with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
START - Start Taking Action Responsibly Today
This units serve abuse/neglected youth who are delinquent or at risk of delinquency. This prevention program Substance Abuse/Drug Testing
is aimed at reducing juvenile crime and promoting academic success. The program uses a multidisciplinary,
interagency approach to case management.
Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Services are available to determine whether parents or caregivers' abilities
are impaired by the use of alcohol and drugs; if parents/caregivers need to be referred for alcohol/substance
abuse treatment, and to monitor progress in treatment; and ultimately, test results are used to evaluate if
children can remain safely in the home of their parents and caregivers, or if children can be safely returned to
the care of their parents and caregivers.
Systems of Care
The Children System of Care (SOC) is a collaborative effort between the Departments of Mental Health,
Children and Family Services, Probation and school districts, parents and communities to reduce the higher
levels of care for high risk children and youth. SOC is strength based and family focused.
Wraparound is a multi-agency initiative. The Department of Mental Health and Probation use a similar
process to refer children and youth for enrollment in Wraparound. The Wraparound approach is a family-
centered, strength-based, needs-driven planning and service delivery process. It advocates for family-
professional partnership to ensure family voice, choice and ownership. Wraparound children and family
teams benefits children by working with the family to ensure permanency.