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Department of Human Services

Working together with communities to support families and protect children.

Department of Human Services

Notice: The Department of Human Services is working to support Philadelphia’s children and families during COVID-19. View our updated policies, guidance, and resources.

What we do

Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services is the county child welfare and juvenile justice agency. 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.


1515 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102


  • Aug
    Child Welfare Oversight Board (CWOB)
    8:30 am to 12:30 pm
    Temple University Center City Campus, 1515 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

    Child Welfare Oversight Board (CWOB)

    August 3, 2020
    8:30 am to 12:30 pm, 4 hours
    Temple University Center City Campus, 1515 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
    The Child Welfare Oversight Board (CWOB) assumes the huge responsibility of assessing the progress of the City’s child welfare system. They review and assess DHS progress in implementing the Improving Outcomes for Children model and other reform initiatives; the department’s progress implementing the recommendations outlined in the recent third-party evaluation of Improving Outcomes for Children, as well as any other reforms suggested by the Board. It also provides advice to DHS on its Needs Based Plan and Budget.