Find Illinois 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.
Child, Youth, and Family Services is a state, county, or local government agency that provides programs and services to improve the economic and social well-being of children, youth, and families. Protective services and certain regulatory functions may also be among the responsibilities of a Child, Youth, and Families Department.
Economic security services range from emergency assistance and income support programs to services that help 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 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).
Children's welfare services are among the chief responsibilities of Child, Youth, and Family Services. In many states, the department is 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 child day care providers, and they may also certify childcare workers. Some states and localities provide early childhood development services, such as early intervention for developmental delays and school readiness programs. In many states, Child, Youth, and Family Services is the agency responsible for enforcing child support.
Many departments have staff or offices dedicated to responding 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.
Child, Youth, and Family Services Departments are also responsible for 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.