Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC)

Improving Outcomes for Children (IOC) is Philadelphia’s delivery of child welfare, juvenile justice, and child abuse prevention services. We believe that a community neighborhood approach to service delivery will have a positive impact on child and family safety and well-being. Our vision is that fewer children become DHS-involved and that families receive services that are the best fit. The four goals of IOC are aligned to make this vision a reality. They are:

More children and youth are safely in their own homes and communities.

With prevention, child welfare, and juvenile justice services based in the community, children and youth can maintain connections to what they know, or work to restore those relationships.

More children and youth are reunified more quickly or achieve other permanency.

If children must be removed from their home of origin, we work to reunify the family as soon as it is safe to do so. When reunification is not possible, adoption or permanent legal custodianship may help the child or youth find a permanent home.

Congregate (residential) care use is reduced.

We believe children and youth do best in family-based settings. We promote children safe at home whenever possible in family-based foster or kinship when the home of origin is unsafe. For youth in the juvenile justice system, we support community-based programs so that they can live with their families and in their school of origin.

Improved child, youth, and family functioning.

Sometimes families need support to live together safely. We invest in many programs to help children, youth, and families become their best selves, including support for parents to reunify more quickly with their children.

The Philadelphia 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.


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