COVID-19 child welfare policies and protocols

In response to COVID-19, the Department of Human Services (DHS) created new protocols to address child welfare practices and offer support to children and youth during the crisis. These protocols guide the work of DHS staff and partner agencies.

DHS maintains a list of COVID-19 resources for children and families. You can also learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19.

Name Description Released Format
DHS COVID-19 Protocol for the PJJSC PDF The health, safety and well-being of all youth in detention and all staff is DHS’s priority. PJJSC has created protocols that PJJSC is using in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans continue to evolve and will be updated as new issues and information arise. DHS is committed to being flexible and adaptive. October 9, 2020
Policy for Family Visits During Covid-19 PDF Amended Order - Juvenile Dependency Child Visitation August 31, 2020
Guidance for family visits during Covid-19 PDF During these challenging times, in-person visits remain important to children and their parents. These types of visits are essential to healthy child development and reducing trauma. Some in-person visits will restart and special steps must be taken to make sure that these visits are safe. August 31, 2020
Guía para visitas familiares Durante el Covid-19 PDF En estos tiempos difíciles, las visitas en persona siguen siendo importantes para los niños y sus padres. Estos tipos de visitas son esenciales para el desarrollo saludable de los niños y para reducir el trauma. Algunas visitas en persona se retomarán, y debemos tomar medidas especiales para asegurarnos de que estas visitas sean seguras. September 4, 2020
Revised Family Team Decision Making Conference Policy PDF This revised policy helps to elevate the voices of children, youth, and their families to ensure their perspective guides any case plans and coordination of services. Due to COVID-19, all Teamings are being conducted virtually until further notice. August 21, 2020
COVID-19 Out of State and International Travel Policy PDF DHS has issued this guidance to balance essential work-related out-of-state and international travel conducted by DHS and CUA staff. August 21, 2020
Board Extension Requirements PDF During COVID-19 crisis and until otherwise notified all requirements for older youth who are Board Extension, stipulating continued involvement in educational programs, employment and behavioral health treatment are suspended until further notice. A youth shall not be discharged for non-compliance during this time. May 26, 2020
COVID-19 Testing for PJJSC PDF The protocol outlines the process for the testing of youth for COVID-19, who are ordered to be held at the PJJSC. Testing began on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. PJJSC have partnered with Corizon Health, which is a contracted provider, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). May 26, 2020
Emergency guidance for investigations and casework contacts PDF Guidance on conducting casework contacts in-person, on the phone, or by video. May 19, 2020
Juvenile Dependency Child Visitation Order PDF A Philadelphia Family Court order issued on April 16, 2020 in response to COVID-19. This order affects visitation with children and youth, as well as judicial timelines. May 19, 2020
Visitation and judicial timelines protocol PDF This document describes the protocol for visiting with children and youth, as well as COVID-19's effect on judicial timelines. May 19, 2020
COVID 19 Congregate Care Guidance Protocol PDF This protocol identifies key areas that congregate care facilities must include in their COVID-19 Action Plans. This COVID-19 Action Plan must include public health guided risk mitigation strategies as well as preparedness plan in the event of confirmed COVID-19 disease within its facility. June 4, 2020
DHS COVID-19 Congregate Care Action Plan PDF June 4, 2020