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Details for Service Child Protective Services
Service Name Child Protective Services Program Name Children with Identified Needs At-risk for Out of Home Placement
Goal Provide services and supports to individuals and families experiencing health and safety needs to assist them in living successfully in the community.
Objective Assure that children with health and safety needs that could result in out-of-home placement receive support services to enable them to continue to live at home and/or community.
Division Division of Social Services
Service Description

Child Protective Services (CPS) helps prevent further harm to children from abuse, exploitation or neglect by a parent or caretaker. CPS workers in county departments of social services (DSS) accomplish this through: 

  • Assessing suspected cases of abuse and neglect.
  • Assisting the family in diagnosing the problem.
  • Providing in-home counseling and supportive services to help children stay at home with their families.
  • Coordinating community and agency services for the family.
  • Petitioning the court for removal of the child, if necessary.
  • Providing public information about child abuse and neglect.

There are three phases to CPS: Intake, CPS Assessments and CPS In-Home Services. Social workers at the county DSS receive reports of alleged abuse or neglect, determine whether the allegations meet the legal definitions (CPS Intake), and if so, initiate a CPS Assessment. If the family needs services, CPS provides them (CPS In-Home Services) until the conditions that led to the maltreatment are resolved. When the safety of the child cannot be assured, DSS takes the child into legal custody.


Child Protective Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through all 100 county departments of social services in North Carolina. The program serves all infants, children and adolescents in North Carolina who need protection.

When a CPS report is accepted for assessment, one of two approaches is used. For abuse and severe neglect cases, the Investigative Assessment approach is used. For cases involving neglect or dependency, a more family-centered approach (the Family Assessment) may be used. There are specified steps that must be taken by the CPS social worker in order to determine whether or not involuntary CPS services are needed by the family. If services are needed, these are provided during the CPS In-Home Services (formerly known as Case Planning and Case Management) phase.

At the conclusion of a CPS Assessment (Investigative Assessment or Family Assessment), a case decision must be made whether there are safety issues for children in the home that require involuntary CPS services, the CPS social worker arranges or provides services to alleviate the conditions that led to the maltreatment of the child and to resolve the safety issues.

Web Site https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/social-services/child-welfare-services Year First Initiated 1980
Available State Wide Yes Geographic Area Served
Grants Provided No Competitive Bidding No
Competitive Bidding Details
Waiting List No Waiting List Start Date
Number Waiting
Waiting List Details

Income Eligibility
Income Eligibility No
Income Eligibility Method
Income Eligibility Type
Whose Income Eligibility
Income Disregard No
Income Disregard Desc
Income Verified No
Income Verified Method
Income Criteria
Income Eligibility Change
Income Eligibility Method Prior To Change
Income Eligibility Other

Target Population
Age Range Start Age Range End
0 18

Legal Authority
Authorization Level Authorization Type Citation
State Administrative Rules 10A NCAC 70
Federal Public Law Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended, Section 106, 42 U.S.C 5101 et seq
State Statute G.S. 7B

Budget Information
State Fiscal Year (SFY)
As of the month of
Authorized Budget Fiscal Year 2025 SFY 2024-2025 Year To Date Expenditures Balance
Salary and Fringes (1X) 0 0 0
Salary Other (1X) 0 0 0
Operating (2X-5X) 0 0 0
Contracts/Allocations (6X) 0 0 0
Reserves (7X) 0 0 0
Transfers (8X) 0 0 0
Total Requirements 0 0 0
Receipts-Federal 0 0 0
Receipts- Local receipts 0 0 0
Receipts- Other receipts 0 0 0
Total Receipts 0 0 0
General Fund Appropriations 0 0 0
State Local Other
0 0 0
State Local
0 0