Department of Children and Family Services (Los Angeles County)

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Department of Children and Family Services
Seal of Los Angeles County, California.svg
Seal of Los Angeles County, California
Office overview
Formed1984 (1984)
JurisdictionGovernment of Los Angeles County
Office executive
  • Robert Cagle

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is an agency of the government of Los Angeles County. DCFS's operations involve investigating child welfare and abuse allegations, foster care, and adoption.

DCFS files child welfare allegations in Edmund D. Edelman Children's Court, located in Monterey Park, California, and the Alfred J. McCourtney Juvenile Justice Center in Lancaster, California. DCFS is represented by Los Angeles County Counsel. Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers represents the parents and Children's Law Center represents the children.


Los Angeles County Social Services began their origin in the Office of Superintendent of Children's and Women's Work, formed in 1891, to care for destitute women and their children under the guidelines of the 1851 Poor Law;[1] the Department of Charities was formed in 1913 and included five Divisions: County Hospital, County Farm, Outdoor Relief, Olive View Sanatorium, and Cemetery Divisions.[1] By statute enacted in 1903, California's first juvenile court had jurisdiction over dependent, neglected and delinquent children.[2]

The Division of Outdoor Relief was expanded and renamed in 1938, the Bureau of Indigent Relief, and in 1943 changed again to the Bureau of Public Assistance. In 1966, the Bureau of Public Assistance became the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS).[3]

In 1984, after public discussion and hearings, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors created both the Department of Children Services and the Commission for Children's Services.[4] In 1994, the Board changed the name to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).[1]

Notable investigations[edit]

According to reports DCFS had investigated Michael Jackson beginning in 1993 with a sexual abuse allegation and again in 2003. Reports show the LAPD and DCFS did not find credible evidence of abuse or sexual misconduct.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c "2013-2014 DCFS Biennial Report" (PDF). DCFS. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Juvenile Justice in California Part II: Dependency System". League of Women Voters of California. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  3. ^ "DPSS History". LA County. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  4. ^ Greene, Robert. "Opinion A 30-year time warp for L.A. County child welfare?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  5. ^ Newton, Jim; Nazario, Sonia (August 27, 1993). "Police Say Seized Tapes Do Not Incriminate Jackson : Investigation: Officials continue to interview children in connection with molestation allegations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  6. ^ Philips, Chick; Ferrell, David (August 31, 1993). "Tapes Used to Allege Plot to Extort Jackson Released Inquiry: Singer's aides provide purported comments by boy's father, who has told friends allegations are untrue". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.

External links[edit]