Family & Children's Services Division

Who are we?

The mission of the Family and Children’s Services Division is to encourage and provide for the safety, well being, and permanence of children by supporting and enhancing family systems.

Safety of children is our first concern, but the Family and Children’s Division recognizes that the family is the fundamental resource for nurturing children, and we seek to work in partnership with family members to ensure that all children are nurtured and well cared for. Often a family crisis can be an opportunity for change and DSS is committed to working with families to solve problems that may cause stress within a family and put children at risk.

What do we do?

The Family and Children’s Division provides services to safe guard children when someone reports that a child has been neglected or abused. Our foremost goal is to keep families together whenever possible. When this is not possible, staff work to find a permanent home for children who come into the custody of the Department of Social Services. Click on one of the areas below to learn more about our services:

What causes child abuse?

Why would someone abuse or neglect a child? What kind of person abuses a child? Not all abuse is deliberate or intended. Several factors in a person's life may combine to contribute toward abusing a child:

  • general stress
  • the stress of having children in the family, when one didn't have children before
  • dealing with a child who has a disability or difficult behaviors
  • the stress of caring for someone besides oneself
  • a personal history of being abused (childhood trauma)
  • alcohol or drug use
  • marital conflict
  • unemployment

Report Child Abuse 336-703-ABUSTNo one has been able to predict which of these factors will cause someone to abuse or neglect a child. A significant factor is that abuse tends to be intergenerational - those who were abused as children are more likely to repeat the act when they become parents or caretakers. Children who are neglected or abused are much more likely to become involved with the juvenile justice system later.

Our children are everyone’s responsibility. It really does take an entire community to ensure that families have access to good jobs, good schools, and a support system to ensure that they can deal with the stress of raising a child.