What we do
Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services is the county child welfare and juvenile justice agency and is overseen by the Office of Children and Families. Our mission is to provide and promote safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth at risk of abuse, neglect, and delinquency. Our main service areas include:
- Prevention. We work with families to safely care for children in their own home to reduce child abuse and neglect.
- Child Welfare. We operate Philadelphia’s child abuse hotline, investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect, and help children involved with DHS achieve a permanent home. We manage the private organizations (Community Umbrella Agencies) that provide case management and other support services in 10 geographic regions throughout Philadelphia.
- Foster and Adoption. We contract with state-licensed agencies who certify homes as placements for children and youth who are not safe in their own homes. The goal of foster care is to reunite children with their families. When this is not possible, as determined by the courts, many resource parents choose to adopt the children who are in their care. Find out how to become a foster parent and how to adopt a child.
- Juvenile Justice. We operate the county’s juvenile detention facility, manage contracts for court-ordered youth programs, and work to divert youth from the formal justice system through intensive prevention services.