Department of Social Services

Children Services

Protecting Children and Preserving Families

Child Welfare Services (CWS), Santa Barbara County, offers the following services:

  • Assesses and investigates allegations of child abuse or neglect
  • Offers voluntary or court-ordered services to families to ensure child safety in the home and to strengthen the family
  • Arranges placements and services for children for whom a safe return home is not possible

Licensed Foster Parents provide a crucial service by taking care of children until they can be returned to their parents or be placed in adoptions.  For further information regarding our licensed Foster Parent Program, or on becoming a foster parent, please call 1-866-899-2649.  For more information, visit the Foster Care web page.

Our Adoptions Unit works to find loving, permanent homes for children in the Foster Care System.  If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent or to learn more about adoptions through the Child Welfare System, please call 1-866-899-2649.  For more information, visit the Adoptions web page.

The Independent Living Program, (ILP) provides services to Santa Barbara County Foster and Probation youth ages 14-21 years of age. The Independent Living Program prepares youth for life after emancipation by empowering youth through life skills development, supportive services, community linkage and social connections to successfully transition into Independent Living. For more information see contact information below or visit the ILP web page.


Independent Living Program Contact Information:

Shannon Bell, ILP Supervisor

(805) 602-8747

66 S. San Antonio Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93110

Alex Spiess Santa Maria, ILP Case Manager

(805) 602-7593

3420 Orcutt Rd., Suite 207

Santa Maria, CA 93455

Christine Farro, DSS ILP Coordinator

(805) 346-8357

2125 S. Centerpointe Parkway

Santa Maria, CA 93455

KIDS Network of Santa Barbara County
Created by the Board of Supervisors in 1991 as an advisory body on children and family issues, the KIDS Network is a county-wide membership organization including members from public agencies, education, community-based organizations, school-linked programs and parent groups. The KIDS Network provides data on children's well-being and supports key initiatives benefiting children and families. The KIDS Network is administered by the Department of Social Services.  To review the most recent data and information on children's physical, emotional, educational and social well-being over time, see the 2010 Santa Barbara County Children's Scorecard.

Santa Barbara County Child Abuse Prevention Council
The Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) is a community council with the primary purpose of coordinating Santa Barbara County’s efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect. The CAPC works to raise community awareness about child abuse and neglect; provides resources and education to organizations and community groups; and educates service providers working with families about the Mandated Reporting Law, Risk and Protective Factors for families and how to prevent child abuse. The Santa Barbara County’s CAPC is open to anyone who is interested in preventing child abuse and neglect in our County.

CWS Assessment and Improvement Plans


Child Abuse & Neglect
Reporting Hotline

24-Hour Number
(800) 367-0166

If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

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