Entering placement can be a confusing time. Here are tips, resources, contact information to help you understand who is involved in your case and who supports you.
A DHS Worker comes to your home to assess your safety.
CUA Case Manager
If DHS is involved with your family, either at home, or if you are placed in foster care, you will be have a CUA Case Manager. This person will be your main point of contact.
The CUA Case Manager sets up planning meetings and collaborates with the other people working with you and your family. If you have to go into foster care, the CUA Case Manager will help arrange your placement in a foster home, or an alternate setting.
The CUA Case Manager will also:
- Visits your home to help you get any supportive services you may need.
- Attend court hearings.
- Set up a visitation schedule with your family if you are placed into foster care.
- Check on you at your foster home.
Other people who will be working with your family include:
You will have a lawyer. Lawyers are also sometimes called ‘advocates’, ‘attorneys’, or ‘counsel.’ The City Law Department has lawyers that represent DHS, they are called City Solicitors. The court will send you a letter with the name and contact information for your attorney. If you do not know who your attorney is, you can contact the court’s Legal Liaison Office at (215) 686-4290.
The judges from Family Court will be making decisions during court hearings about you and your family.
Resource parents or foster parents
People who have been trained and approved to care for children and youth who are removed from their homes. If DHS helps you move in with a relative or another adult who has a positive relationship with your family, this is called kinship foster care
DHS Team Coordinator
The DHS Team Coordinator is the person who invites and engages all involved in the case and takes notes at Family Team meetings. Family Team Decision Making Conferences are the core of all DHS involvement with a family. Family Teaming ensures that you, your family, and other caring adults are actively involved in planning and decision making. They occur throughout the life of a case at key decision making points, including safety and permanency decisions, placement moves, changes in service, routine review intervals, and case closing.
What is a CUA and How Do I Find My CUA?
Philadelphia DHS works with organizations in your neighborhood, called Community Umbrella Agencies (CUAs). Through the CUAs, DHS ensures that children and youth receive services in their own neighborhood whenever possible, and also, that families have a single case point of contact (the CUA Case Manager) that coordinates all the services they receive.
Commissioner’s Action Response Office
If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints that have not been answered by the people already involved in your case, you can contact the Commissioner’s Action Response Office (CARO) at: (215) 683-6000 or email@example.com.