Director, Vicky Kelly (302) 633-2657
The Division of Family Services is mandated by law to investigate complaints about child abuse and neglect. Since 1875, state agencies have been balancing the children's right of safety and the parent's right to choose what is good for the family. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 clearly puts the focus on the protection, safety and permanency plan of children as the first priority. Services provided are child oriented and family focused.
The Foster Care staff work with Delaware's foster families to protect and nurture children; meet the children's developmental needs and address developmental delays; support relationships between children and their families; promote permanency planning leading to reunification with the child's family or other safe nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime. Foster families are for children of all ages and races and foster parents may be single or married, live in an apartment, mobile home, or house.
The Office of Child Care Licensing strives for a high standard of care and ensures safe environments for children by providing guidance, training and support to many day care providers throughout the state, and investigating complaints concerning day care facilities.
The Division's Office of Children's Services also assesses families with problems and provides them with supportive services to empower them to protect and nurture their children. The Division may ask Court permission to temporarily remove children from a parent's care when there is a serious risk of physical harm to the children. These children are then placed with a relative or in foster care for safety, while the Division provides services to help the family overcome its problems so that the children can be returned home.
When problems can't be resolved or "fixed", the Family Services seeks permanent adoptive homes for the children. Where Adoption Services are not a solution for some children, mostly teens, the we work to prepare these adolescents for independence through our Independent Living program.
Success in our mission depends on an efficient network among state agencies, private providers, families and communities. As the African proverb says, "it takes a village to raise a child".
A Few Resources
DFS Advisory and Advocacy Council Meeting Minutes
Last Updated: Tuesday, 03-Sep-2013 12:09:05 EDT
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