Human Services Agency: Children and Family Services (7420P and 7440P)

Program Outcome Statement

Ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children throughout San Mateo County.
Program Services
Children and Family Services (CFS) offers a broad range of services to protect children, and to maintain and support families throughout the county. Services include:
  • Operating a 24-hour child abuse hotline and an Emergency response Unit to investigate serious allegations of child abuse and neglect.
  • Ensuring the well-being of foster children and non-minor dependents (foster youth ages 18-21) by providing them with the best possible health, mental health, and education services.
  • Collaborating with School Districts to strengthen families with after-school activities, parent support groups and workshops, counseling, and referral to additional resources (Family Resource Centers).
  • Coordinating the adoption of court dependent children in the child welfare system and assists children who have been voluntarily relinquished.
  • Operating the Receiving Home, a State licensed shelter facility, to house youth and provide a safe, homelike facility with an array of services to stabilize foster youth who require short-term out-of-home placement.


CFS operates a child abuse hotline and our social workers provide case management services to help resolve issues and to maintain or re-unite children with their families. For cases where reunification is not possible, social workers develop a plan that will lead to a permanent guardian or adoption. With the Foster Care program, CFS searches for strong, stable families who care about children and can offer love, patience, guidance, and understanding. Court dependent children are placed with these families until they are reunited with their family or an alternative permanent home is found.

Rate of Child Abuse Reports and Rate of Substantiated Allegations is Within Target

Percent of Children Who Exited to a Permanent Home within 12 Months of Entering Foster Care is Surpassing Target

Rate of Out of Home Placement is Surpassing Target

Percent of Eligible Foster Youth Enrolled in College and Vocational Training / Percent of Foster Youth Graduating from High School or GED Program is Below Target

FY 2017-18 Year End Story Behind Performance

Rate of Child Abuse Reports per 1,000 Children and Rate of Substantiated Allegations per 1,000 Children

For FY 17-18, our child abuse report rate of 31.7 per 1,000 children falls outside the target of 25.8 per 1,000 children. The average rate for other Bay Area Counties is 37.9. Mandated reporter trainings are offered to the community which educates the community about their responsibility to call the CPS hotline for suspected abuse or neglect.  Our rate of substantiated allegations was 2.2 per 1,000 children, which falls within the target of 2.3 per 1,000 children and surpasses the benchmark average for Bay Area Counties at 4.4. With the support of the Board of Supervisors and the CMO, the Agency continues to be able to offer early intervention and prevention services and our practice of working collaboratively with other departments and CBOs have contributed to our reduced number of substantiated cases.

Percent of children entering care for 12 months who were discharged within the following 12 months

This outcome measures permanency of our youth who have entered our foster care system. The FY 17-18 rate of 57.4% exceeds the national target of 40.5%.  System changes that have aided in creating increased permanency for children and youth include streamlining the processes of concurrent planning (reunification and adoption as a permanency option) by licensing family members and foster parents as foster and adoptive resources and starting this process at intake.

Rate of Out of Home Placement per 1,000 Children

The Agency’s FY 17-18 rate of children in out-of-home care was 1.2 per 1,000 children making performance better than the target of 1.7 per 1,000 children. Our strategies in utilizing differential response services are preventing children from being removed from their homes as appropriately as possible.  Family maintenance provides services to parents while the child remains safely in the home.

Percent of Eligible Foster Youth Enrolled in College and Vocational Training / Percent of Foster Youth Graduating from High School or GED Program

Our FY 17-18 foster youth college enrollment rate was 68% missing our target set at 72%. National studies reflect only a 20% enrollment rate among foster youth.  The FY 17-18 percentage of foster youth graduating percentage was 75%, which is well above the State average estimate but short of our target of 85%.  With additional Measure A funding that supports enhanced education and employment services we hope to continually increase that number.

Future Priorities

  • Implementation of Continuum of Care Reform, measuring the effectiveness of increasing foster youth employment and education rates and increasing the supply of affordable housing for foster youth are priorities in the upcoming budget cycle.
Author: Jennifer Valencia,                        Contact Email:                       Last Updated: 08-27-2018   
Director of Children and Family Services