Coming into contact with The Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services can be a traumatic experience for any family, and losing custody of a child is devastating.
The Parents in Partnership program is a committed group of Parent Partners who have first-hand knowledge of this experience, and who know how overwhelming and stressful it is for families to understand their rights and responsibilities when working with DCFS.
Jerome was referred to a Family Preservation Program in early 2018 having recently gained custody of his child after being in foster care. The child was going to be adopted by a family but Jerome decided that he wanted to be a part of her life, despite being mostly absent from her life after she was born.
Jerome experienced difficulties with substance abuse, but was willing to participate in an Outpatient Drug Treatment Program. Throughout the time he received services with Family Preservation, he was able to maintain stable employment, he was drug tested as asked by DCFS, and participated in Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous groups.
Prior to being referred to the program, Jerome had completed a parenting program. He participated in Family Preservation services for approximately five months. IHOC Hernandez was able to assist Jerome throughout the time that he had Family Preservation services by helping him with applying and receiving benefits from Calfresh and ensuring that Julie had medi-cal coverage.
His DCFS Social Worker also assisted Jerome by submitting an Auxiliary Fund Request for Rental Assistance and referring him to a subsidized childcare program.
Now, both Jerome and his daughter’s lives have changed significantly — his daughter now has a stable home environment and she is bonded with and Jerome now has his little girl.
*In order to protect the anonymity and privacy of our families, names have been changed and photos are randomized.
Parent Partners have successfully navigated the system and now work in partnership with DCFS to provide support, information and mentorship to parents who have recently lost custody of their children, as well as parents whose children are not in the foster care system permanently.
These parents are trained in the areas of parents’ rights and responsibilities, grief and loss, communication, cultural awareness, child abuse reporting and family violence. DCFS Parents in Partnership (PiP) is dedicated to the parents in the communities served.
If you or someone you know is a parent with an open DCFS case, Parent Partners are here to help provide you with support and vital information. They assist parents and families with the following services:
Parent Partners are available to parents via phone to take questions and requests for support and information Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm. Voicemails are checked and responded to daily. Find the warm line in your area.
Parent Partners and DCFS staff members co-facilitate an orientation where parents are given the information they need regarding child abuse, neglect and strategies for success. The goal is to increase parental awareness and advocacy, leading to better outcomes for families.
Recent studies suggest that parents who participate in this Parent Orientation are 30% more likely to regain custody of their children in one year or less, compared to parents who don’t participate. In one study, parents who participated in the Parent Orientation regained custody of their children, on average, seven months sooner than parents who did not participate.
Support groups are available for parents who have children currently living under DCFS supervision, in-home or out-of-home. These groups, facilitated by Parent Partners, provide parents with a supportive environment among others who are having similar experiences, and offer information about reunification, parenting and advocacy.
Family Team Meeting Support
With parents’ permission, our Parent Partners are available to advocate for the parent in Child and Family Team Meetings (CFT) by assisting parents in communicating their family’s strengths and concerns. At your request, we will support parents during CFT meetings (availability may vary).
Connecting Parents with Resources
Parent Partners provide families with information and resources to encourage parents to make full use of DCFS and community partner services.
To get connected to Parents in Partnership services, locate your Regional Office and call the number that serves your community. Parent Partners are located in the lobbies of the offices listed below to provide support and information.