Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers

This manual examines the roles and responsibilities of child protective services (CPS) workers. It describes the purposes, key decisions, and issues of each stage of the CPS process and strategies for casework supervision, training, and support.

Publication year: 2018
Capacity Building Center for States


Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers covers numerous topics essential to good CPS casework practice, including:

  • Philosophical tenets, legal context, and national goals of child protection
  • Core components of the helping relationship, including cultural sensitivity and competency and family engagement
  • Purposes, key decisions, and practice issues for the stages of the CPS process:
    • Reporting and intake
    • Initial assessment/investigation
    • Comprehensive family assessment
    • Development of the family plan
    • Change strategies and interventions
    • Evaluation of change and family progress
    • Closure and ending of CPS involvement
  • Effective documentation of actions in case records and information systems
  • Strategies for casework supervision, training, consultation, and support
  • Caseworker wellness and safety

Suggested Citation

Capacity Building Center for States. (2018). Child Protective Services: A Guide for Caseworkers. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Capacity Building Center for States.

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