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Child Welfare Specialist Program Descriptions

DHS Child Welfare Specialists serve children and families with severe problems – poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness – and multiple needs. Child Welfare Specialists deal with complex family situations requiring sound judgment and timely decisions.

Child Welfare Services encompass multiple program areas such as:

  • Child Protective Services;

  • Permanency Planning;

  • Family Centered Services; and

  • Foster Care and Adoptions. 

Child Protective Services (CPS)  

Child Protective Services (CPS) specialists investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect. The two purposes of CPS intervention are to protect the safety of children and to provide services to help families with any difficulties that cause the safety of their children to be at risk. Services are provided either through community resources or through DHS. While every attempt is made to preserve the family, if a child's safety cannot be controlled, intervention, including removal of the child from the home as ordered by the district court, may be necessary.

Family Centered Services (FCS)  

The purpose of Family Centered Services (FCS) is to preserve and strengthen protective capacities of the parents to keep the child in their own home. FCS provides voluntary services to families following an investigation or assessment of child abuse or neglect, in which abuse, neglect or both have been identified. Voluntary services include Parent Aide Services (PAS), Comprehensive Home Based Services (CHBS), Parent Education Services and Sexual Abuse Treatment Services. The purpose of FCS is to collaborate with the family, assess the family's need for services and to refer for services that will best meet the family's needs.

Permanency Planning (PP)  

Permanency Planning (PP) provides services to families that include assessing the needs and strengths of the family; involving family members as participants in their own treatment plan; consulting with service providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the services; providing placements for children which will meet their medical, educational, and physical needs; returning children to their own homes as soon as their needs can be met in the home of their parent(s), and arranging a permanent plan when return to the home is not possible.

All new Child Welfare Specialists attend trainings required by law or outlined in the Pinnacle Plan.  They must successfully complete initial Child Welfare Specialist Academy.

Want to learn more about the Child Welfare Specialist positions?

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