For children who have been or are at risk of being abused or neglected, we first attempt to keep the family together by coordinating needed services. When it is necessary to remove a child from the home, we work with families to develop the problem-solving skills they need to live together in a safe and stable environment.
Whether the children are in the home, with relatives, or with a foster family, we work in partnership with families to make changes that will reduce the potential for abuse and neglect. For example:
- We hold family team meetings to assist and empower families in developing a plan of action. A family team meeting is a gathering of family members, friends, support people and community partners who join together to focus on the care and protection of a child. Families identify their strengths and talk about the concerns in order to set goals and make their home a safer place for children.
- We coordinate needed services, which are provided directly by our caseworkers or through referrals to appropriate community resources.
- We hold follow-up meetings every 90 days to review the progress families make on their goals.
- We conduct home visits with children, parents and care providers to continually monitor child safety and risk factors as families work toward providing a stable and nurturing environment for children.
- We seek out relatives and kinship providers when children cannot safely return home to give children stability and permanency within their own family and/or community.
- We seek out adoptive families for children who cannot achieve permanency with a relative or kin provider.