Child Welfare Services

For more information, call the KidsLine at 877-792-KIDS (5437).

Child Welfare Services (CWS) is committed to excellence in the delivery of culturally competent, family-centered and child-focused protective services. CWS investigates reports of suspected child abuse and neglect and intervenes with families who do not meet the minimum community standards of health and safety as required by law. Investigations are conducted in a thorough and professional manner. Family interventions are completed in the least intrusive manner necessary for the protection of the child. In addition to these services, CWS administers the following: Polinsky Children’s Center, a 24-hour facility for the temporary emergency shelter of children; San Pasqual Academy, a first-in-the-nation residential education campus for adolescent foster youth; foster care eligibility and licensing; group home placement services for foster youth with emotional and behavioral issues; services to emancipating foster youth; adoptive home assessments and placements; and critical support services to regional operations.

Services offered by Child Welfare Services:

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County of San Diego Adoptions serves all members of the adoption triad: adoptees, birth families, and adoptive parents. Both voluntary relinquishments, and adoptions of children from the foster care system, are handled by the agency. Free, no-obligation orientations are available for those interested in learning more about available services, including, ongoing, professional education and training classes about                                        adoption issues. 

Volunteer Services

Career/Volunteer Opportunities

Child Welfare Services is proud of its volunteer accomplishments. Much of the success and growth can be attributed to the national increase in volunteerism, and the generosity of the people of San Diego County far exceeds the national average.

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Child Abuse Hotline

The Hotline is contacted when a member of the community has a concern regarding potential abuse or neglect of a child. Upon notification of the concern (via phone or fax), the Hotline Social Worker does an immediate assessment of the referral. If the child is determined to be at risk, a social worker is assigned to investigate. Hotline staff are available 24 hours per day.

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Child Assessment Network-North (CANN)

The Child Assessment Network North (CANN) is a project designed to provide prevention, assessment and intervention services for North County children 0-17 years of age who are in need of protective custody. 

Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board

Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board

The Board of Supervisors has taken a strong leadership role in supporting efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. The efforts focus on strengthening families by identifying and addressing the needs of children and youth who are in the public charge as well as those whose safety and welfare may be at risk.

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Child Welfare Improvements and the COAS

The County of San Diego Child Welfare Improvements was developed to respond to the California Outcomes and Accountability System (COAS). This was formerly known as the California-Child and Family Service Review (C-CFSR).

CWS Policy Manual

Child Welfare Services (CWS) Policy Manual

Policies for Child Welfare practice.

Child Welfare Records Request
CWS Resources for Families

Child Welfare Services (CWS) Resources for Families

Resources available for Families

Chils Welfare Data Reports


Available data reports include the Annual Statistics Report and the CWS Dashboard.

Chils Welfare Data Reports

Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program

The County of San Diego’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps eligible households in qualifying areas who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters behind on rent and utilities.

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Foster and Adoptive Resource Family Services

At any given time, there are about 2,100 children in out of home care and about 30 children awaiting permanent adoptive placement in the County of San Diego.


          COVID-19 FAQs for Caregivers          

          COVID-19 FAQs for FFAs and STRTPs 4/9/20

          COVID-19 FAQs for FFAs and STRTPs 4/20/20

          COVID-19 Resources

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Foster Care Services Committee

To meet monthly with representatives from community-based organizations and County programs that directly impact foster families.


Family Urgent Response System (FURS)

FURS includes a 24/7 Statewide Hotline and a 24/7 County-based Mobile Response and Stabilization Team. FURS will provide current and former foster youth (up to age 21) and their caregivers with immediate, trauma-informed support by caring and trained professionals when they need it.

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Independent Living Skills

Independent Living Skills is a program designed to assist 16 to 18 year olds who are in out-of-home placement and are likely to remain there until they can live on their own.

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The Office of the Ombudsman of the Child Welfare Services is an internal unit for conducting independent reviews of complaints concerning policies or practices. Complaints can be lodged by members of the public, community organizations or agencies.

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Polinsky Children's Center

The A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children's Center is a 24-hour facility for the temporary emergency shelter of children who must be separated from their families for their own safety, or when parents can not provide care. 


Polinsky Children's Center (PCC) Advisory Board

The PCC Advisory Board shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be residents of the County of San Diego.


Relative Notification

Child Welfare Services is committed to the importance of relatives and the role they play in a family’s life.  Relatives provide important family and lifelong connections for children involved with child welfare services. Relatives can provide critical support when the mother and father cannot. 

Respite Services

Respite Services

The County of San Diego Child Welfare Services (CWS) values our collaborative partnership with Resource Families and recognizes both the importance of providing supportive services and the unique needs of Resource Families.  We understand that the role of the caregiver can be challenging and that supportive services are vital to success.



Safe4Baby focuses on educating parents and caregivers about four primary areas: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Safe Sleeping, Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Safely Surrendered Baby Law.

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San Pasqual Academy

San Pasqual Academy, a first-in-the-nation residential education campus designed specifically for foster youth, serves as a placement option for dependents of the Juvenile Court, 12-17 years old, and Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs) up to age 19 years old.


Virtual Court Attendance