Q: How much will services cost me?
A: If your family receives services that are either provided by, or paid for by the Department of Social Services, you may be charged a fee for these services. Charges will be based on your financial ability to pay up to the cost of services. To be considered for a payment less than the total cost, you will be required to complete a Family Financial Questionnaire and provide verification of your income.
Q: How does On-going Child Protection Services differ from criminal or family court?
A: Criminal matters are handled through the District Attorney’s Office, which makes decisions as to whether or not to charge a person with a criminal offense. This includes a whole range of criminal activities including substantiated findings of abuse/neglect.
Family court makes legal determinations related to paternity, child support and child custody/placement matters.
More information on this is located at the Clerk of Courts website.
Q: What is the role of the Ongoing Child Protective social worker?
A: For the families that are referred to this unit, the social worker’s job is to connect them with resources to alleviate the stresses, which result in abuse/neglect. If the child is removed from their parental home, the social worker attempts to work with the family to reduce the safety concerns that lead to the child’s removal so the child can safely return home. If returning home is not possible, the social worker makes recommendations to the court for other long term placement options including termination of parental rights which allows the child to be adopted or placed with a fit and willing relative.
In all cases, the social worker is part of a team of individuals working on the case. This team includes the family and child(ren), family support people, school personnel and therapists. As a team, all viewpoints are heard and whenever possible case planning agreements are reached to guarantee better success.
Social workers also work closely with the court and monitor compliance with mandated service conditions set by the court.