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County of Madera

California

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Child Welfare Services

Emergency Response (ER)

Family Maintenance

Family Reunification

Permanent Placement

California Permanency for Youth Project (CPYP)

Healthy Beginnings

Independent Living Program (ILP)

California Youth Connection (CYC)

Incredible Years Parenting Class

Foster Parent Recruitment and Training

 

Child Welfare’s primary goal is to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children while preserving, rehabilitating, or reuniting families. Another major responsibility is to assure adequate care of children who are in "Out-of-Home" placement, i.e. foster children. Child Welfare Services programs include: Emergency Response, Family Maintenance, Family Reunification, and Permanent Placement services.

Emergency Response (ER)

Emergency Response provides 24-hour daily response to allegations of child abuse and neglect. Community members reporting abuse call our ER Hotline where a social worker assesses each report and makes a determination of the appropriate response.

If an investigation reveals a child is at risk of abuse or neglect, emergency response prevention services may be offered for a maximum of 30 days. Services include case management, counseling, emergency in-home caretaker, parenting training, teaching and demonstrating homemakers and transportation.

There were 2216 total referrals to Child Welfare Services during 2011.

Family Maintenance

Family Maintenance is a program that serves "at risk" families in their own homes. The goal is to work alongside the family in identification of risk factors and development of a family/community plan to ensure child safety.

A range of service-funded activities include; case management, counseling, respite care, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting training, and transportation.

Outside referrals for services include: adult education, behavioral health services, domestic violence, drug treatment, employment training, group therapy (e.g. Parents Anonymous), housing services, and mental and medical services.

Family Maintenance can be provided through a voluntary agreement between the parents and CWS or under order by the Juvenile Court.

In 2011, 62 children were served on an average monthly basis.

Family Reunification

Family Reunification is a program that serves families in which children were removed due to neglect or abuse. The program goal is two-fold; case managers concurrently work alongside the family to address risk factors in order to return child (ren) to the family: and concurrently develop plans to include adoption, guardianship or long-term foster care if those reunification efforts are not successful.

Time limited family reunification services are designed to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, while pursuing reunification of the family.

Child Welfare Services offered at the Department of Social Services include: Case management, Independent Living Program, Healthy Beginnings, Incredible Years Parenting Program, and Transitional Housing Plus.

Outside referrals for services include: adult education, behavioral health services, domestic violence, drug treatment, employment training, group therapy (e.g. Parents Anonymous), housing services, and mental and medical services.

All families receiving Family Reunification services will have a case plan that addresses specific goals, as well as a concurrent plan for permanency should the parents fail to reunify with their child (ren).

In 2011, 94 children were served on an average monthly basis.

Permanency Placement

Permanent Placement services are designed to provide an alternate permanent family structure for children who because of abuse or neglect cannot safely return home. These services are provided on behalf of children for whom there has been a judicial determination of a permanent plan for adoption, legal guardianship, or alternative living arrangement.

Permanent Placement services are meant to ensure that children from families where there has been neglect or abuse can grow up in a permanent, safe, and secure living arrangement. When children cannot live safely with their birth parents, federal policy prefers adoption as a first alternative option. If adoption is not possible, legal guardianship, preferably with a relative, is the second favored choice. If, for whatever reason, these options are not available, then children may continue in foster care with annual permanency reviews until their 18th birthday when they emancipate from the Child Welfare System, although the deadline can be extended for a year (up to their 19th birthday) to allow a youth to complete high school.

Child Welfare Services offered at the Department of Social Services include: Case management, Independent Living Program, Healthy Beginnings, Incredible Years Parenting Program, and Transitional Housing Plus.

Outside referrals for services include: adult education, behavioral health services, domestic violence, drug treatment, employment training, group therapy (e.g. Parents Anonymous), housing services, and mental and medical services.

In 2011, 96 children were served on an average monthly basis.

California Permanency for Youth Project (CPYP)

California Permanency for Youth Project is a department goal to ensure all foster youth have a LIFE LONG connection to a caring adult. Child Welfare Services in conjunction with community partners are dedicated to ensuring all foster youth are connected to at least one healthy, caring adult willing to be committed to their future.

A connection may allow the exiting Foster Care youth to have:

  • Someone to have dinner with
  • Someone to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with
  • Someone to stand with you at your wedding or walk you down the aisle
  • Someone that’s there unconditionally

There are approximately 104,000 youth that exit California’s Foster Care system each year. By ensuring that all existing Foster Care youth have a permanent lifelong connection upon leaving the Foster Care program the following statistics may be reduced:

  • 65% leave the system with no place to live, and 25% are homeless within a year
  • One in four homeless adults is a former foster child
  • After leaving the system, 50% of females receive AFDC/TANF compared to 6% of California population – age 19-29

Healthy Beginnings

The Healthy Beginnings Program is an interagency program in partnership with the First 5 Children and Families Commission. The team is comprised of a mental health clinician, education services representative, public health nurse, early intervention specialist, child welfare services representative, coordinator, and facilitator. The team comes together to serve families with children prenatal to five years of age throughout Madera County. Families who are underserved due to agency eligibility requirements, full caseloads, or difficulties in coordination services between agencies are eligible for these services.

The mission of Healthy Beginnings is strengthening families to create healthy beginnings for their children.

Independent Living Program (ILP)

Madera County Department of Social Services offers the Independent Living Program (ILP) to current and former foster youth. ILP focuses on helping youth gain the basic life skills and information needed to become successful self-sufficient adults. Youth ages 16 and over whom are in foster care, or were in foster care on or after their 16th birthday, are eligible for services up to the age of 21.

The Department of Social Services provides ILP services to enable youth to achieve self-sufficiency prior to leaving the foster care system by providing independent living skills assessments, support training, services, and a written transitional independent living plan is designed for each participant to meet the goal of being self-sufficient.

Services include:

  • Educational Planning
  • Career/Job Planning
  • Computer Training
  • Social Skills Training
  • Social Security Card, Birth Certificate and California ID Card Applications
  • Budgeting and Money Management
  • Banking Information
  • College Applications
  • Financial Aid Applications
  • Apartment Hunting
  • Tax Forms
  • Resumes
  • Job Training
  • Housing Assistance Program
  • Transitional Housing Program for emancipated youth (coming 2008)
  • Pregnant and Parenting Foster Youth Teens

California Youth Connection (CYC)

In 2007, Madera County became a CYC chapter. The CYC is guided, focused and driven by current and former foster youth with the assistance of committed community members. CYC chapters and members educate the public and policy members about their personal experiences with the Child Welfare System, and make recommendations for improvement.

For more information on CYC visit their website at: www.calyouthconn.org.

Incredible Years Parenting Class

The Incredible Years Parenting Program is an evidence based program supported by research at the Parenting Clinic at the University of Washington. This program provides parent training, facilitator training, and child social skills training with approaches that have been selected by the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as an exemplary best practice program. In addition, this program is designed to promote emotional and social competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioral and emotional problems in young children.

For the past two years, Madera County Department of Social Services implemented and operated the Incredible Years Program. The target population served includes clients within the child welfare system; who are parents of children between the ages of 0 and 5 years. Both English and Spanish classes are conducted, with Spanish classes held at the Family Resource Center in Madera County. As of July 2007, fifty-seven (57) clients have successfully completed the program.

Foster Parent Recruitment and Training

Foster Care parents are ordinary people who want to provide love, security and nurturing to a child (ren) in need. Out of home care may be necessary for children removed from their own family due to inability or unwillingness to accept services that would keep their child (ren) at home.

Child Welfare Services has an in-house foster parent liaison that actively recruits and trains new/returning foster parents and serves as a contact for current foster parents. The foster parent liaison works with the Madera County foster parents to ensure an open line of communication, and provide support for the foster parents.

Foster parents receive monthly foster care payments to feed, clothe and meet the material needs of child (ren) placed in their care. Medical and dental care is provided for foster children through the Medi-CAL program. Foster parents can be male, female, married or single, retired or employed, and be any age over 18 as long as their health, energy and desire are appropriate.

Foster parents provide the child(ren) with the physical and emotional care that only a family can provide. At the same time, they must be committed to reunification and work in partnership with the agency, the courts, and the birth parents.

If you know anyone who is interested in finding out more about becoming a foster parent, please contact the foster parent liaison at (559) 675-7841 or email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Online Information is also available for interested parties to find information about:

  • Training resources for current foster and adoptive parent
  • Links to county information about adoption and becoming a foster parent; and
  • Links to Recruitment resource websites

The link to access this information is: http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/PG2684.htm

Madera County has a local Foster Parent Association which provides training and support to local foster parents. This association, who is an independent agency, is composed of foster parents in Madera County who assume responsibility for the direct care of a child or children in crisis.

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General County Contact

General County Contact
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
559-675-7703
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Use this number to get general information about the County or County departments.  

For non-emergency information or service, dial 311