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
    families with a particular emphasis on reunification, kinship and adoption.
    Reductions in the emancipation population will also be critical.

   2. Improved Safety
    Significantly reduce the recurrence rate of abuse or neglect for children
    investigated and reduce the rate of abuse in foster care.

   3. Reduced Reliance on Out-of-Home Care
    Reduce reliance on out-of-home care through expansion of alternative
    community-based strategies.
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
    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.

Asian Pacific Program        
    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
    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.

Central Los Angeles Sexual Abuse Unit (CLASAU)
    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
    parents and the children meet weekly with master's level students, graduates, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    (LCSW), Licensed Marriage, and Family Therapist (LMFT) interns.

Deaf Services Unit (DSU)   
    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.

HUB/Assessment Services      
    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
    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.

Medical Placement Unit (MPU)     
    This unit provides case management services to children who are medically fragile and/or with special needs as
    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.

Minor Parent-Teen Pregnancy Disincentive Program    
    The Teen Pregnancy Disincentive Program creates a new requirement for TANF eligibility for unmarried
    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         
    Public Health Nursing Program assists the CSW to promote health, prevent disease, and facilitate the provision
    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.

Rites of Passage Program
    The Rites of Passage Program teaches the ten-step rites of passage, consisting of spiritual, emotional, social,
    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.

Runaway Adolescent Program       
    Provides protective services for homeless youth.  The staff work very closely with the shelters in the
    community.  The majority of these youth are located in the Hollywood and Santa Monica areas.

Sensitive Case Unit       
    This unit provides protective services to children whose parents are DCFS employees, political officials, law
    enforcement personnel or a high profile case (i.e., one involving public figures from the entertainment
    industry, professional athletes, etc.).

Special Immigrant Status Program       
    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
    is aimed at reducing juvenile crime and promoting academic success.  The program uses a multidisciplinary,
    interagency approach to case management.

Substance Abuse/Drug Testing        
    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.
Psychiatric hospitalizations and
crisis placements for youths
DDMI Adolescent Wing