Santa Cruz County Child, Youth, and Family Services

Find Santa Cruz County California child, youth, and family services. Child, youth, and family services provide support in all aspects of child and family welfare, including social services, abuse services, and protection services.


Pajaro Childrens Services 420 Main Street Watsonville CA 95076 831-763-8100


Santa Cruz County 4-H Youth Program 1432 Freedom Boulevard Watsonville CA 95076 831-763-8040

Watsonville Youth Center 30 Maple Avenue Watsonville CA 95076 831-728-6126

What is Child, Youth, and Family Services?

Santa Cruz County Offices of Child and Family Services (OCFS) are California State, Santa Cruz County, or local government agencies that provide programs and services to improve the economic and social well-being of children, youth, and families in Santa Cruz County, CA. Protective services and certain regulatory functions may also be among the responsibilities of a Santa Cruz County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

You may contact Children and Family Services for questions about:
  • Santa Cruz County Child, Youth, and Family Services programs
  • Child abuse and maltreatment
  • Santa Cruz County adoptions, foster care, and group homes
  • Social services programs
  • SNAP Food Stamp program in Santa Cruz County, California
Santa Cruz County Child and Family Services

Economic security services range from emergency assistance and income support programs to services that help Santa Cruz County families become more financially self-sufficient. Common types of emergency assistance include energy assistance, housing assistance, and support following natural disasters or other crises. Child, Youth, and Family Services Departments help build economic independence by offering Santa Cruz County job training, education assistance, assistance connecting with employers, and childcare subsidy programs. They are also the point of access for some federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the Santa Cruz County Food Stamp Program.

Child Welfare & Safety

Children's welfare services are among the chief responsibilities of Child, Youth, and Family Services in Santa Cruz County. In California, the department may be responsible for regulating child placement agencies involved in adoptions, foster care, and transitional placements. For children that age out of foster care, a transition resource office provides independent living services to aid in the transition from foster home to self-sufficiency. Child, Youth, and Family Services also regulate and license Santa Cruz County child day care providers, and they may also certify childcare workers. Santa Cruz County DCFS offices may provide early childhood development services, such as early intervention for developmental delays and school readiness programs. California Child, Youth, and Family Services may help to enforce child support.

Santa Cruz County Group Homes

Child, Youth, and Family Services Departments are also responsible for Santa Cruz County group homes where individuals with disabilities reside and receive supportive services. The agency may operate group homes with in-house resources, or they may contract operations to other organizations.

Abuse Victim Services

Santa Cruz County DCFS offices respond to cases of child abuse, domestic abuse, elderly or adult abuse, and human trafficking. These services usually feature a telephone helpline and other means for reporting abuse or threatening situations. They also connect victims and survivors to advocates and supportive services, such as safe shelter and counseling in Santa Cruz County, California.