Child and adult welfare
The Department works closely with doctors, hospitals, law enforcement officials, schools, and others to identify maltreatment and intervene with families where children have been abused or neglected. While every attempt is made to keep the family together, if children are in immediate danger, they are removed from the home on a temporary basis.
Child welfare intake assesses and checks into all child abuse and neglect allegations. Specific protocols are followed for each report. Services are directed toward alleviating danger in order to protect children, and if possible, keep the family intact.
A 24-hour child abuse hotline, 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437), is available for reporting child abuse and neglect situations. Calls are recorded for quality assurance purposes; anonymity of reporting parties continues to be protected. All requests for child welfare services must be initiated through Child Welfare or Adolescent Intake.
Adolescent assessment and services are available to families whose youths are experiencing severe parent-child conflicts, truancy, or delinquency.
Sexual abuse intervention and family education handles the majority of parent/child and/or sibling incest cases. The team works with local law enforcement, community agencies, and other treatment providers to ensure maximum protection for incest victims and maximum accountability and containment for offenders.
Child protective ongoing services provides home-based services to families who have allegations of physical abuse, neglect or are at high risk for these factors. They are assessed, then referred by child welfare intake if they need continued services to protect children and rehabilitate families. Services include individual, group, or family therapy, parenting classes, domestic violence treatment, drug/alcohol treatment; crisis intervention, and life skills training. When children cannot be maintained or reunited with their parents within a reasonable time, efforts are dedicated to provide alternative living arrangements that are most beneficial to the child which preserve emotional kinship, identity, and continuity.
Chafee foster care independent program is an emancipation/interdependent living program for youth 16 and over in foster care or group home care. Counselors teach skills such as budgeting and banking, apartment finding, job seeking, scholarship applications, problem solving and use of community resources. Youth must be or have been in the custody of the Department of Human Services. Some financial incentives are available to help with household items or book fees.
The department also works with community members regarding adults at risk for abuse or neglect. Case management includes the identification of family members, community support persons and adult service agencies to address and ensure safety of our adult population.
Adults may become at-risk because they are having problems with their health and safety and are no longer able to care for themselves, or they are unable to adequately protect or care for themselves because they cannot understand or recognize they have a problem. Adult protection involves the outside intervention by a social work professional with, or on the behalf of, people over the age of eighteen with disabling conditions or seniors who are victims of abuse, neglect or other mistreatment.
Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation for the elderly that are at risk or adults with special needs. For those adults determined to remain in need of services, APS provides ongoing case management.