About the Child Welfare Policy and Program Development Bureau
The Child Welfare Policy and Program Development Bureau is responsible for the analysis, development and implementation of statewide policies and procedures, regulations and intervention strategies related to child protection and early intervention.The bureau’s policy area includes the investigation of Child Abuse and Neglect, assessment of the children and families that come to the attention of child welfare services (CWS), and includes intervention programs such as CWS Emergency Response (ER) and Family Maintenance (FM) services provided by county welfare departments, probation departments, and Indian Tribes.
The bureau’s three units, the Pre-Placement Policy Unit, the Child Safety Unit and the Child Trafficking Response Unit, coordinate policy and program development with county child welfare agencies, tribes and other stakeholders, to provide guidance in policy implementation and ongoing improvement of best practices. The bureau ensures that policies are in adherence with all state and federal laws, including the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The Pre-Placement Policy Unit
This unit is responsible for policy development and technical assistance relative to Emergency Response (CWS investigation) and Family Maintenance services and promoting proven strategies that keep children safely at home and within their own communities.The unit provides support and coordination for the Children and Family Services Division (CFSD) to uphold legislative actions or federal mandates relative to ER and FM.Specific areas of focus include policy interpretation and analysis regarding Critical Incident Disclosure Processes, the Safely Surrendered Baby Program, assessments and other projects related to ER/FM. The unit also manages the Statewide Safety Assessment System via contracts for the Structured Decision Making (SDM) tool and coordinates a quarterly workgroup to engage county agencies in discussions about intervention strategies and best practices to inform policy development.
The Child Safety Unit
This unit is responsible for policy development and technical assistance to counties on the integration of strategies to address needs of children and families receiving in-home services (Family Maintenance), the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, early intervention strategies which include transitional care and alternative response policy, CACI/cross reporting, strategies to address educational and substance abuse treatment needs of children and families receiving FM services, and disproportionality and disparity in child welfare services. The unit has also been the hub of technical assistance to tribes and counties regarding compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The Child Trafficking Response Unit
Created in late 2014, The CTRU’s primary purpose is to administer the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children’s Program. It also manages grants related to the prevention and intervention of commercial sex trafficking and coordinates a child labor trafficking workgroup. CTRU carries out this work in partnership with all CWPPDB existing units, other bureaus, branches, divisions, and departments, county welfare agencies, tribes, researchers, and nonprofit organizations that are involved in child abuse-related activities.