Children's and Family Services


Child Welfare Services (CWS) is the primary statewide intervention program for abused, neglected and exploited children under California Department of Social Services and operated by County Child Welfare Services in all 58 counties.


Vision … “Every child in California lives in a safe, stable, permanent home, nurtured by healthy families and strong communities”.


Imperial County Children and Family Services is directed toward the accomplishment of the following:


  • Promoting safety, permanency and child and family well-being.

  • Preventing, remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems which may result in abuse, neglect, exploitation or delinquency of children;

  • Preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems; assisting families in resolving their problems, and preventing the breakup of the family where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible;

  • Restoring those children who have been removed back to their families by providing services to the children and their families; and

  • Identifying children to be placed in suitable adoptive or guardianship homes in cases where the restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate and assuming permanence for children and youth in out-of-home care who cannot return home.


Service Programs 


Emergency Response

This is a response system designed to provide in-person response 24 hours a day to reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Its purpose is to investigate and to determine the necessity for providing initial intake services and crisis intervention to maintain the child safely in his/her own home or to protect the safety of the child through emergency shelter care.

Family Support services

They are primarily community-based prevention activities for families. They are designed to alleviate stress and promote improved and positive parenting skills and behaviors that will increase the ability of families to successfully nurture their children and to enable families to use other resources and opportunities available in the community. These services are primarily provided through the Family Resource Centers.


Family Maintenance

Consists of time-limited services that are designed to provide in home protective services when the child can remain safely at home. The services provided may be court ordered or accepted by families on a voluntary basis.


Foster Care (out-of-home care)

It is designed to serve and protect those children who cannot remain safely in their home. Placement options include relatives and licensed foster family homes, Foster Family Agencies and Group Homes. It also includes payments to cover the cost of providing food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child’s personal incidentals, medical needs and reasonable travel, including travel for visitation with siblings or parents.


Family Reunification

This is a time-limited service to children in out-of-home care to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse or exploitation when the child cannot remain safely at home and needs temporary foster care while services are provided to the parents to reunite the family.


Permanent Placement

It consists of providing alternative family structures for children who, because of abuse, neglect or exploitation cannot remain safely at home and who are unlikely to return home. These services are provided when there has been a judicial determination of a permanent plan for adoption, legal guardianship, or other alternate planned living arrangement.


Independent Living

It consists of education and services for foster youth, 16-18 year olds based on needs assessment and designed to help the youth successfully transition from foster care to adulthood. These services are provided to enhance basic living skills, employment skills, and promote vocational training and higher education. In addition aftercare services are provided to 18-21 year olds, who were eligible for ILP Services and have emancipated.


Adoption services

It provides permanency and stability to children. Services include recruitment of potential adoptive parents, and provides financial assistance to adoptive parents to support the adoption of foster and special needs children.


Foster Family Home Licensing and Relative Home Approval services

Recruits and promotes safe family homes for children in out-of-home care. These homes are licensed or approved by the County. They are primarily a temporary placement for children in Family Reunification.