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.
Teresa wanted to find a house for her and her children and not knowing where to turn, they looked to DCFS for support
Teresa was assigned a social worker under the immediate priority to secure housing. Teresa and her social worker spent a month and a half searching for properties online, getting listings and contacting landlords. She was dedicated to the goal and made sure to follow any leads.
During a visit one day, they contacted a landlord that was renting out a home that met all of the families needs. Teresa quickly set up an appointment to meet with the landlord and was soon offered the place. Unfortunately, Teresa, at the time, wasn’t able to cover the costs of the deposit. Her social worker contacted the landlord and explained that DCFS would assist her in getting the funds for housing. The landlord agreed to work with DCFS and allowed for time to get the money.
Teresa’s social worker collaborated with Teresa and DCFS to secure assistance with the deposit and furniture for the home. The family was allowed to move into the home before the deposit was provided and all her children were able to once again stay under the same roof. DCFS continued working to get the family settled by providing the landlord with the deposit from DCFS and in of the spring of 2018, the family was provided with furniture for the home.
The children in the home are now able to have a place of their own. They are now able to all sleep under the same roof and Teresa is no longer worried for her children’s well-being.
*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.