Union County Children Services recognizes that every family faces unique challenges and many struggle to maintain a safe and nurturing home for their children. To support these families, we utilize a variety of resources designed to keep children free from neglect and harm while living in their own homes. We assist families in accessing needed services to care for their children and stabilize their home environments. Our services include:
Children Services is mandated to investigate abuse/neglect concerns of children that meets state guidelines. Families enter our program after we have received a report of potential abuse or neglect. A caseworker assesses abuse or neglect concerns through observations and interactions with the child and the family along with obtaining information from collateral sources. A family assessment and disposition report are completed within 45 days of initial contact or the date of the receipt of the report. Part of this report includes actions to be taken and resources to be accessed to assure the wellbeing of the child and help the family create a safe and supportive environment.
Our commitment to keeping families together is reflected in our prevention services. We provide a variety of services to young mothers, families of school-aged children, and families of unruly and delinquent youth with a goal of preventing problems from elevating to possible abuse/neglect concerns. Services may include day care, counseling, evaluation, treatment and referrals to other social service agencies.
Our priority is to help families keep their children safe. Depending on the needs of the family, our caseworkers will coordinate and make referrals to a variety of services including mental and behavioral health services; drug abuse treatment; parenting training and domestic violence advocacy. Our caseworkers will also coordinate family team meetings to assess progress and address ongoing needs.
Foster and Adoptive Services
Child safety is our main priority. If we are unable to maintain a child safely in their own home, we look first to place the child in a relative or kinship family. If that is not available, we will place the child with a foster family. Each foster family is screened, trained, monitored and actively participates in family meetings. They serve as a temporary home environment for the children until they can be reunited with their parents or transitioned into a kinship setting. In some instances, a child in need of a permanent loving home will be placed for adoption. Potential adoptive parents complete the same screening and training process before being eligible to offer a permanent home to a child.
Children Services does not have the authority to remove a child from their home. The Union County Juvenile Court has this authority. When Children Services has safety concerns for a child that cannot be immediately mitigated working with the family, the caseworker will seek assistance from law enforcement and the Court.