Child Protective Services If you think a child is endangered, call the 24-hour hotline immediately at (805) 654-3200. Reports will be kept confidential and callers may remain anonymous.
In case of emergency call 911.
Child Protective Services provides safety and protection for children who are experiencing or are at risk of:
severe neglect, including severe malnutrition, acute untreated medical condition, general neglect, including unsanitary, unsafe or inadequate housing, no food or clothing, or being left alone or without supervision
not having a parent or guardian, meaning a parent who cannot provide adequate care due to mental illness or substance abuse, a parent who is overwhelmed, or abandonment
If you witness or suspect abuse call the 24-hour hotline at (805) 654-3200.
Mandated reporters must first call the hotline to report suspected child abuse or neglect and must also submit a written report. Mandated reporters may obtain forms here. Preventing Child Abuse PATHWAYS is an approach to ensuring safety by expanding the ability of child welfare to respond to reports of possible child abuse and neglect. This fundamental shift in practice utilizes three paths, allowing for a broader set of responses for engaging families at the first signs of concern. Involvement occurs through innovative community partnerships that help support families in need before further problems develop. PATHWAYS is a partnership between community organizations and Children & Family Services. PATHWAYS empowers families by providing them with the resources and services they need to stay together, grow stronger and maintain a healthy and safe home environment for the children of Ventura County.
SafeCare, an evidence based parent training curriculum designed to reduce child neglect, is a program offered through a partnership with Aspiranet. SafeCare is initiated by child welfare social workers and provides families with a variety of in-home services. Learn more about SafeCare.
Child Safety When a child is abused or neglected, he or she may need immediate protection, or a family may need extra support to ensure the safety of the child; this is when Children & Family Services may become involved. If Children & Family Services becomes involved, the parent and a social worker work together to develop a plan that may include counseling, substance abuse treatment, parent education or other services to address the family’s needs.
Further information about ensuring the safety of children is available in English and Spanish.
Team Decision-Making If a child cannot be safely returned to his or her parents care, an alternative placement is arranged. Children & Family Services works to ensure that the best possible placement decisions for children are made. To help make that happen, Team Decision-Making (TDM) meetings may be scheduled to bring together the people who care most about the family. As a team, they join their personal and professional knowledge to make the best decisions for the safety and placement of the child, while preserving strong family and community ties. The team members may include parents, family members or caregivers, as well as people who support the family, social workers or supervisors, and community representatives. Currently, Children & Family Services has temporarily suspended formal TDM meetings beginning in January 2012, however, informal family meetings continue and are scheduled whenever needed. Reinstating the TDM program as soon as staffing levels permit remains a priority for Children & Family Services.
Supervised Visitation Based on issues of protection and safety, a judge may decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is called supervised visitation. Children & Family Services arranges visits that are easy on the child and the parents, keeping the child’s safety a priority. Visitation is an important part of a family’s case plan and may contribute to children’s reunification with their parents.
Information regarding ways to make supervised visitations positive for parents and their children is available in English and Spanish.
Peer Support Peer support for parents involved with the child welfare system is available from the Parents with Purpose Helpline. Call (805) 654-3214.