About the Division of Children and Family Services

2 Children blowing bubblesOur Mission
To assure that children at risk of abuse and neglect are protected and nurtured within a family and with the support of the community as we strive to end the over-representation of people of color in the child welfare system.

Our Vision
To improve the lives of children as a result of our attention, care and support.

Our Values
  • Safety, permanency and well-being of children
  • Urgency
  • Family connections
  • Youth voice
  • Strong partnerships
  • Inclusion
  • Respect for each other

DCFS Advisory Board
The Division of Children and Family Services Advisory Board (“DCFS Board”) established pursuant to O.R.C. 5153.05 as an “advisory committee on children services” and shall be comprised of up to ten members who shall provide independent perspective and feedback to the County and the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) leadership. The DCFS Board shall also serve as a link between Board and the community it serves. The DCFS Board is advisory in nature only and shall not have any decision-making authority over DCFS or the County.

What We Do

696-KIDS Hotline: Our 216-696-KIDS hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including holidays) to screen referrals of suspected child abuse and neglect. When a concerned family member, community member, professional, or mandated reporter calls the hotline a trained Child Protection Specialist will document the allegations, assess the priority level for response, and determine whether to assign the referral for investigation.

Child Abuse and Neglect Investigations:
Child Protection Specialists investigate suspected abuse and neglect and protect children at serious risk. Depending on the circumstances Child Protection Specialists may work with prosecutors and Juvenile Court for protective supervision, emergency custody, temporary custody, or permanent custody of a child.

Short Term and Extended Family Services: We work with families to support and strengthen a safe and loving home environment that ensures the safety, permanency and well-being of children. Child Protection Specialists refer children and families for a wide range of supportive services through community resources and professional service providers. Services may include:

  • medical care,
  • mental health,
  • addiction treatment,
  • behavioral intervention,
  • parenting classes, and
  • trauma therapy and counseling.

We also provide protective supervision to children in their own homes and services to children in DCFS custody. We strive to keep families together or reunite them if it is safe to do so.

Foster Care: When children must be removed from their homes our staff works to place them with kinship or foster families that meet their individual needs. We also recruit, train and conduct home studies for potential foster parents, kinship caregivers and adoptive parents. We provide ongoing training and support for dedicated parents and caregivers.

Adoption: In cases when a child comes into the permanent custody of DCFS we seek to find a forever family that meets the child’s individual needs. We also make every effort to keep siblings together. The adoption process involves an application, training, home study, matching, and post-adoption services.

Youth Permanency: We work with teens and young adults before and after they leave our care to ensure they have permanent supportive relationships and a plan to transition to independence. We connect them with educational opportunities, life skills, public benefits and community resources to help them become successful adults.

Community Partnerships: We work with various community partners to provide support to families in the community and children in our care. This includes education, outreach, awareness campaigns, and volunteer and donation coordination.

Contact the Division of Children and Family Services. Work for DCFS and view our Realistic Job Preview.

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