Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Panel

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS): Its Formation and Challenges - A Panel Discussion

Helen Maxwell, MSW, LCSW

Helen Kleinberg

Carlos Sosa, MSW

Summary of DCFS 

Est. 1984; DCFS works to improve child safety, permanency, and access to effective and caring service. 

Interview summary

Interviewer: Esther Gillies, MSW, LCSW

Date: 07/14/2017

An interview with Helen Maxwell, Helen Kleinberg, and Carlos Sosa as they discuss how and why the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was formed and highlight the department’s current limitations as they strive to serve children and other community members of Los Angeles County. Length of interview: 1 hour 8 minutes 56 seconds.
Interview Topics
(00:22)- Background to formation of organization to address child abuse and neglect. (01:53)- Origin of concern for children in Los Angeles. (07:41)- Establishment of the Task Force. (09:30)- Purpose of first Task Force meeting. (14:24)- DPSS as a welfare agency. (17:17)- Impact of public hearings. (19:19)- Recommendation of the Task Force that Children Services remain with DPSS. (20.05)- Development and inclusion of a Minority Report. (21:06)- Creation of a new Children Services department from the adoptions department. (24:35)- Problems with DCFS as a new department. (25:22)- Contemplation of oversight commission. (7:39)- Lack of qualified department directors. (19:09)- Professionalization of DCFS. (30:31)- The need to put children and community members first. (32:29)- Need for interdepartmental collaboration and shared resources. (35:21)- Family Preservation Programs. (37:31)- Limitations of DCFS. (41:42)- Acceptance of Minority Report. (45:30)- The shaky beginning of DCFS. (51:04)- Need for mental health services. (55:42)- Eliminating the politics in order to serve. (58:53)- Vision of DCFS. (59:52)- Hope for the future.


Additional materials

DVD containing interview