Wake County Child Welfare offers services to families in their homes after an assessment concluded that the children were abused or neglected and are at risk of future harm without ongoing support.
Services for Families in their Homes
What are In-Home Services?
In-Home services are provided after an assessment has concluded that children were abused or neglected and are at risk of additional harm without ongoing protective services. In-Home Service staff support families to keep their children safely in their homes.
The type and frequency of services depends on the strengths, needs and preferences of the parents and children.
Examples of possible services and activities include:
- Frequent and regular visits with all family and household members;
- Announced and unannounced home and/or school visits;
- Treatment for mental health and substance abuse conditions for adults and/or children;
- Education and support for parents, including positive approaches to discipline; and
- Assistance with getting health insurance, food, child care, employment, housing and other services provided by government or non-profit agencies, for which the family may be eligible.
Families recommended for In-Home Services will be asked to participate in a family meeting called Child & Family Team (CFT) meeting to make a plan. Usually, the social worker, his/her supervisor, a staff person responsible for running the meeting (called a facilitator), the family and child (if appropriate) and support people of the family will attend. At the meeting, the social worker will explain their decision and the reason for referring to In-Home Services. Parents are encouraged to bring people to the meeting who support them and their children, such as relatives, friends, neighbors, church members, teachers, coaches and partners. If the other parent is not living in the home, he/she will be invited to the meeting and to participate in the plan.
At the CFT meeting, participants work together to develop a plan, that:
- builds on the strengths of the family,
- addresses the needs of the children, and
- focuses on safety and wellbeing of the children in the family.
Child and Family Teams will meet at regular intervals at convenient times for the family to review progress and make changes to the plans as needed. People invited to the meeting may participate by showing up in-person to an agreed upon location, arranging for the social worker to come to their home, calling a phone number given by the social worker, or using video chat software (such as MS Teams or Zoom).
This service will continue until children are safe, usually less than 12 months. Even though social workers collaborate with the family and connect them with needed supports and services to keep children safe, they can choose to request that the court remove children from the home if a family fails to follow through with the plan to ensure their children’s safety.
What Happens When My Family is Reported
If your family was reported to Child Protective Services, then you may receive a phone call from a social worker to set an in-person interview with you, your household members, and your children. Depending on how severe the abuse is, a visit from a social worker may be necessary without scheduling. You will be asked for the names and contact information of other persons who may have information about your children. The social worker may need to review medical or other records and may request medical assessments be completed.
Your assigned social worker will work with you to complete the assessment and make sure you have a written response of the decision. If services are needed to assure child safety, the social worker will involve you and the people you identify to support you in decision making and work to help the child stay safely at home whenever possible.
More information about What Happens When My Family is Reported
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you have questions about child protective services or child safety?