Child welfare agencies and organizations provide many services including protection, investigations, family support, foster care, and adoption. These agencies have availability 24/7 to respond to child abuse or neglect and mistreatment. They meet the needs of many different populations that are in need of help.
In situations where child abuse or neglect is present, children should come in contact with the right state or local child welfare agency. Whenever child abuse or neglect is reported, the welfare agency will choose whether to investigate or not.
After investigating, they decide on actions that need to be taken after the conclusion of the investigation.
Children found to be neglected or abused may remain in their own homes if they are not deemed as unsafe to be in their own household. If the child’s home is deemed unsafe, the child is placed in out-of-home care.
Mostly the out-of-home care is only a temporary solution to provide sufficient time for the behavior and social support to change. When the abusive nature changes drastically in the household, children are allowed to move back to their homes.
Annually, there are more than 3 million referrals for child abuse or neglect. Around 37% of the time these cases are due to neglect of the children. 15% of the time it’s due to substance abuse of the parent or caregivers of the children or individuals in the household.
Around 13% of these cases are due to physical abuse and only 7% are due to the child’s behavior.
The child welfare system works to help any children who are living in a life where they are not treated right or conditions that may influence their future in a very bad way. These children may have a better life being put into foster care and going to foster parents who can take care of the child and provide them with future opportunities in life.