Child Welfare Services (CWS)

Child Welfare Services takes reports of suspected child abuse and neglect for all children living in Del Norte County. 

Reports can be made by Mandated Reporters and community members to the Child Abuse Hotline at (707) 464-3191 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Please use discretion by making non-emergent reports during regular Business hours whenever possible.

Mandated Reporting

Mandated reporters are classified as those individuals who are required by law to make suspected child abuse reports for any child they encounter where suspected abuse or neglect is or may be occurring or face civil fines and penalties under California Penal Code. Mandated reporters are required to complete a Suspected Child Abuse Report form (PC 11166) and submit it the local child welfare agency as soon as possible, but not more than 24 hours from learning of the possible abuse. For more information on mandated reporter regulations, please click here.

Emergency Response Services

CWS receives all reports of allegations of child abuse and neglect in Del Norte County, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reports that meet the criteria of abuse or neglect are then assigned an immediate response or a ten-day response. After investigation, referrals are given a disposition of inconclusive, substantiated or unfounded. Families that have an inconclusive or substantiated allegation can be eligible for emergency services to from CWS in an effort to stabilize the family; for up to thirty days. When a family is receiving services, the case plan is individualized to meet the specific needs of the family.

Pre-Court Services

These include the option of voluntary placement and voluntary family maintenance. These services are offered to keep children safe and in the home of relatives or in their own home without Court intervention. Eligibility for these services is based on findings during the investigation of the referral. Families must be willing to engage with CWS in order to receive Pre-Court services.

Court Ordered Family Maintenance Services

These services are provided to families as an opportunity to stabilize the family and are ordered by the Court. The children may or may not have been in foster care prior to a court ordered family maintenance. The primary goal of Family Maintenance is to allow children to remain safely in their own home, by providing services and supervision for the family.

Family Reunification Services

These include Court ordered time-limited services that are provided to high risk families and focused on reducing the risk level in the home so that the child can return home. Parents who are involved with CWS and Court are engaged in the case planning process to develop an individualized, behavioral specific plan to rectify the problems that brought the family to the attention of CWS and the Court.

Permanency Planning Services

These services are provided to develop a long-term permanent placement for a child who cannot return to the home of their parents because of neglect or abuse. Possible placement plans include: adoption, guardianship, long term foster care. One of the primary goals is to insure that each child has a stable home.