Child Welfare Services (CWS)
The Child Welfare Services On-going Case Management Unit (CWS) strives to preserve and empower families, encourage self sufficiency of families and youth through supportive services, facilitate reunification when children are removed, ensure the safety, permanence, and well being of all children, youth, and transitioning young adults in our community, serve the needs and mandates of the Juvenile Court, and provide ongoing support to the foster parents in our community.
Child Welfare Services Responsibilities
Child Welfare Services (CWS) is charged with protecting the safety and well being of children in Mariposa County. CWS evaluates and determines the appropriate response regarding all referrals of child abuse or neglect. Different services are offered depending upon each family's needs:
- Emergency Response (ER) is the first phase of CWS involvement with a family. Depending upon the ER social worker's findings, a family may become involved with other social workers. The social worker may offer voluntary services or the Court may order services if the Department files a petition with the Court.
- Family Maintenance services may be offered when the children remain in the home. Family Maintenance is designed to overcome any challenges that the family is facing which could lead to an unsafe environment for the children in the home.
- When children are detained, a Family Reunification social worker provides services to the family to enable the family to reunify. At the same time, CWS must prepare an alternate plan in case the children are not able to return home.
- Permanency Planning social workers search for a permanent home for children who cannot be returned to their parents. Adoption, legal guardianship, and another planned permanent living arrangement are all options for permanency.
- The Independent Living Program (ILP) provides comprehensive services to current and former foster care youth that are beginning the transition from foster care to independent living. ILP works in conjunction with the support foster youth may already be receiving within and outside the foster care system. ILP provides mentoring and training to foster care youth who were in foster care during the age of 15 1/2 to 18. Youth are offered life skills, occupational and college preparatory classes, summer employment, assistance with retrieving vital documents such as a birth certificate or social security card, support groups, transportation, and counseling.Aftercare Services provides additional services to emancipated foster youth ages 18 to 21. Services include but are not limited to access to ILP classes, assistance with vital documents and one-on-one case management with ILP coordinator to assist during this critical transition period.
- THP-Plus (Transitional Housing Program-Plus) provides financial and supportive services to young adults between the ages of 18 and 24. Most THP-Plus recipients reside in SILP's (Supportive Independent Living Placements). Monthly payments are made directly to any given young adult for rent, utilities, transportation, etc. Part of the THP-Plus payment is put into a trust for future needs. Young adults may receive a maximum of 24 months of THP-Plus services (not necessarily sequentially), as long as criteria are met.
- Extended Foster Care (EFC) is a supportive service per Assembly Bill 12, that extends Child Welfare Services from age 18 to age 21. These young adults must agree to remain dependents of the court as NMD's (Non-Minor Dependents) and must meet certain criteria to receive EFC services.
For more information on what to expect when becoming involved with CWS, please read A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System (PDF).
Reports - (Please Note: The files are large & may take several minutes to open)
- Child Welfare Services - 2013 County Self Assessment (CSA) (PDF)
- Child Welfare Services - 2013 through 2018 System Improvement Plan (SIP) (PDF)
Child Abuse Mandated Reporter General Training
Mandated Reporters can take a free, online "Child Abuse Mandated Reporter General Training". Once the website opens, click on "Take This Class Now." (Note: It may take several minutes for the course to load completely)