Child Protective Services
In 1975, the General Assembly assigned child protective services to the Department of Social Services. The mandated services to abused or neglected children and their siblings are designed to: provide immediate protection to such children: prevent further abuse or neglect; preserve family life, where possible; and provide substitute care when the family cannot be preserved.
According to the legal mandate for child protective services, an investigation must be undertaken when there is reason to suspect that abuse or neglect has occurred. When there is clear and convincing evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred the complaint is classified as Founded. Where no clear and convincing evidence exists, the complaint is classified as Unfounded.
Foster Care Services
Foster care is a state mandated service provided by all departments of social services in the Commonwealth. The foster care program is funded by a combination of federal, state and local dollars. Foster care services mean the provision of a full range of casework, treatment, and community services for a planned period of time to a child who is abused or neglected or in need of services.
Foster care placement is intended to be a temporary placement rather than a long term solution to family problems. A foster care placement may be in a family, in a group home, in a residential treatment facility, or in an independent living situation. Once a child enters foster care, services are provided to enable the child to return home or, if this is not possible, to achieve another permanent home for the child.
Child Day Care Services
Child day care services are provided for eligible families with children who are under age 13 or children under age 18 with physical or mental impairment requiring supervision. Day care services are divided into three primary areas:
Transitional day care services are available for up to 12 consecutive months for eligible parents whose TANF was terminated due to earned income. A sliding fee scale is used to determine the portion of child care expenses for which the parent is responsible. Fees will be 10 percent of a parents’ gross income with a $25 minimum monthly co-payment.
VIEW day care services enable VIEW participants to work or to participate in work experience or Job Search activities through the Employment Services Program.
Non-VIEW day care services provide child care assistance through subsidies to income eligible families who are employed or in education/training programs. Fees will be 10 percent of a parents’ gross income with a $25 minimum monthly co-payment.
The Adult Services Programs are to assure older and incapacitated adults the protection from neglect, abuse or exploitation. The programs are to further protect adults from inappropriate institutionalization, maximize self-sufficiency, and assist families with appropriate placement when such placements are necessary for the protection and well-being of an individual.
In the Adult Service Program, the Department receives and investigates allegations of neglect, physical or emotional and exploitation of individuals over the age of 60, or, if incapacitated, over the age of 18, including reports of self-neglect.
Adult Services provides assistance to older adults or incapacitated adults over the age of 18 years and their families in an effort to maintain the adult in the least restrictive environment and to strengthen existing family and community support systems. When no support system exists, the Department establishes contact with appropriate community resources in an effort to help the adult remain in their own home as long as possible.