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San Luis Obispo County, California

 > County of San Luis Obispo > Social Services > Child Welfare Services

Child Welfare Services

About Child Welfare Services (CWS)

Child Welfare Services includes a broad spectrum of programs that serve to protect the children in our community. The philosophy and focus of Child Welfare Services is to provide services to protect children from abuse and neglect. Most parents want to be good parents, and they do their best under sometimes stressful circumstances. The Department's first concern is to help the parents find ways to keep their child safely in his or her own home with services and/or supervision when possible and appropriate.

The goal of CWS is to provide for the safety and stability of children who are at risk of abuse or neglect.


Graphic of the word newResource Family Approval Process

San Luis Obispo County is an early implementer of the Resource Family Approval process.  For more information about this new process, please see our Resource Family Approval page.


How to Contact Child Welfare Services

Call the Department of Social Services at the telephone numbers below if you are concerned about the welfare of a child or suspect a child is neglected or abused.  This includes the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).

Child Welfare Services Division
(805) 781-1700

To report suspected child abuse or neglect in San Luis Obispo County call:
24-Hour Child Abuse Reporting Hotline
(805) 781-KIDS (5437)


Information for Mandated Reporters

The following State form is used for Suspected Child Abuse Reporting (SCAR) in California:
Suspected Child Abuse Report: SS 8572  Please also click on Instructions on Completing the SCAR

Click here for more Mandated Reporter information and resources.


Emergency Response

Emergency Response provides in-person response, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.


Family Maintenance/Family Preservation

Family Maintenance provides time-limited protective services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation while the child remains at home.


Family Reunification

Family reunification provides time-limited foster care services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, when the child cannot safely remain at home, and needs temporary foster care while services are provided to the family.


Permanency Planning

Permanency Planning provides an alternative permanent family structure, such as adoption, guardianship, or long-term foster care, for children who, because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation cannot safely remain home and who are unlikely ever to return home.



Our licensed public Adoption Agency recruits and evaluates families for adoption of children whose parents have relinquished the child or whose parental rights have been terminated by Juvenile Court.
Would you Like to become a Foster Parent or Adopt a Child?
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, adoptive parent or resource parent, click here to go to the Adoptions page for more information.


More Help for Families with Children

Child Welfare Services partners with the Children's Services Network to help ensure the safety of children in the county.  Click here to go to the Children's Services Network web page which provides information and resources for families and children living in San Luis Obispo county.


Safely Surrender a Baby

The Safely Surrendered Baby law encourages mothers of newborn children that are unable or unwilling to care for the infant to be able to surrender the baby within 72 hours of birth with no shame, no names and no blame. Click here for more information.


California Child & Family Services - Peer Quality Case Review (PQCR) 2010

Click here to view the 2010 Peer Quality Case Review Report for San Luis Obispo County.


 California Child & Family Services Review - 2014 County Self-Assessment

Click here to see the San Luis Obispo County Child & Family Services Self-Assessment Report for 2014.

Click here to see the San Luis Obispo County Child & Family Services Self-Assessment Report for 2011.


California Child & Family Services Review - 2015 System Improvement Plan (SIP)

Click here to see the California Child & Family Services SIP Report for San Luis Obispo County for 2015.

Click here to see the 2012 SIP Report.
Click here to see the 2011 SIP Report.
Click here to see the 2009 SIP Report.
Click here to see the 2008 SIP Report.


Click here for CWS Statistics.


Click here to go to the Department of Social Services home page.