The Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families (The Delaware Children’s Department) was established in 1983 by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware. Its primary responsibility is to provide and manage a range of services for children who have experienced abandonment, abuse, adjudication, mental illness, neglect, or substance abuse. Its services include prevention, early intervention, assessment, treatment, permanency, and after care. The Department also offers desirable career opportunities, attracting and retaining proud and talented employees who are motivated to think of the child first in all that they do.
The Children's Department employs approximately 1200 staff at 31 locations, who serve over 8,000 children on any given day. Among the workforce are 52 Family Crisis Therapists (FCTs), who work in elementary schools throughout the state. Additionally, the Department provides licenses to nearly 2,200 daycare operations, which provide services for more than 49,000 children in Delaware.
The Department is comprised of four divisions. There are three service divisions and one management support division. They are as follows:
- Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (DPBHS)
- Division of Family Services (DFS)
- Division of Management Support Services (DMSS)
- Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS)
The mission of the Delaware Children's Department is to assist children, youth and families in making positive changes through services that support child and public safety, behavioral health and individual, family and community well-being.
The Children's Department wants every child to be safe, live in a stable home, learn and grow in self-esteem, and embrace a sense of hope about the future. The Department leads a system of care approach (both community based and residential) that is child centered and assures effective, timely and appropriate support for Delaware's children.