FAMILY & CHILD SERVICES
The goal of child protective services is to identify, assess and provide services to children and families in an effort to protect children, preserve families, whenever possible, and prevent further maltreatment.
Reports of abuse and neglect are investigated for children under 18 years of age with the goal of protecting them from physical neglect, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse and medical neglect.
What makes a report valid?
Alleged victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the report
Alleged abuser is in a caretaking role
Alleged abuse or neglect meets the definition of abuse or neglect as defined by the Code of Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Social Services local agency has jurisdiction to respond to the report.
IN-HOME PREVENTION SERVICES
The primary goal of in home services is to support families to safely maintain children in their own homes or with relative/fictive kin caregivers in their own community, by addressing identified safety and risk concerns and reducing the reoccurrence of child maltreatment.
Families in need of in home services are families with risk indicators warranting additional services in the home that were previously involved with Child Protective Services OR families in need of supportive evidence based services aimed to stabilize the family and/or prevent youths’ out of home placement.
REPORT ABUSE & NEGLECT REPORTS TO:
(757) 365-3668 / Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5pm (except holidays) or
(800) 552-7096 after 5pm, weekends and holidays.
Foster care program is a stated mandated program intended to be temporary rather than a long-term solution for children who have been removed from the birth home for reasons of neglect, abuse, abandonment or other issues endangering their health and/or safety.
The goal of foster is permanency for all youths. Permanency is established when youth is reunited with his/her biological parents, custody is transferred to a relative or adoption. Relative placement is the first consideration for all youths, initially entering foster care. When children cannot be returned home to their parents or prior guardians, kinship care gives them the best chance at maintaining family, community and cultural connections, which foster a sense of well-being and belonging. In addition, it also increases stability and overall trauma of family separation.
FOSTER PARENT RESOURCE
Foster parents provide substitute family life experience to children in our community who, for a temporary time, cannot living with their own families. Children are placed in the legal custody of social services for reasons of abuse, neglect, abandonment or other circumstances in which they are brought into foster care.
Isle of Wight Social Services offers training and support to help develop professional parents who are competent, able and committed to sharing their home, time, energy and love towards to care of a child.
Foster Parent Qualifications:
At least 21 years of age
Married for one year (no cohabitation)
Have sufficient space to accommodate child(ren)
All adults over 18 have no felony or misdemeanor conviction which jeopardizes the safety or proper care of the child and no founded child abuse/neglect cases
Be physical and mentally able provide appropriate care
Home environment is safe and presents no safety or health hazards
Have a current driver’s license and safe driving record
What steps are needed?
Call the agency and express interest in fostering
Participate in orientation
Actively participate and complete pre-service training (15 hours)
Complete and submit all required paperwork
Complete Mutual Family Assessment (home study)
Receive foster parent license (3 years certification)
Can a relative be a foster parent?
Absolutely! Relatives and/or fictive kin are the first placement option for youths entering foster care. Relatives and fictive kin can be licensed as foster parents to allow a minor relative a placement option in a familiar home environment.
To Become a Foster Parent, please call (757) 365-0880
The priority of Isle of Wight Social Services is to achieve permanency for all youths entering foster care. When permanency cannot be achieved through reunification efforts with the birth family or prior custodian, or kinship placement within 12 months, the permanency goal will change to adoption. Adoption should be finalized within 24 months of a youth entering foster care.
Isle of Wight Social Services offers adoption services for children legally free for adoption and children who have already been adopted. Applicants must be able to meet the requirements and standards set by the State of Virginia. Couples as well as single parents are considered. The primary purpose of adoption is to help children, whose parents are no longer able to assume and continue their parental responsibilities, to legally become part of a permanency family.
The parental rights are terminated, granting the agency authority to place child(ren) for adoption with relatives, fictive kin or non-relatives and the agency consents to the child’s adoption.
Isle of Wight Social Services are currently completing adoptions for youths and children in the agency’s custody.