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Welcome to the Department of Family Services (DFS). Our mission is protecting children from abuse and neglect by partnering with our community to build safe, nurturing and stable families, to support family preservation, when possible, to provide permanent families for those children who cannot safely return home and to ensure the well-being of children in our care.
On any given day there are 3,400 children and youth in foster care. To put that number into perspective that is enough children and youth to sell out an entire property on our Las Vegas strip.
Children enter foster care because they or their families are in crisis including unsafe conditions, abuse, and neglect.
Foster care is best defined as temporary care of children and youth 0-18 years old whose need for care has come to the attention of the county children and family services program. A key goal of foster care is to ensure children and youth have a stable, caring, and safe temporary living situation until they can be reunified with their family.
Children and youth in foster care may live with relatives, fictive kin, or with unrelated foster parents. Foster parents are licensed and receive extensive training in trauma-informed care to be well equipped on how to respond to a child’s emotions and behavioral challenges with compassion and effective strategies.
In training, foster parents learn about expectations, obligations, the rewards, and challenges of being a foster parent. A foster parent learns to work with biological parent(s), how to help youth adjust, and the importance of a continual partnership with Department of Family Services’ employees.
A primary focus of foster care is the preservation and connection to a child or youth’s family through visitation and open communication. The absence of their biological family and familiar surroundings are some of the greatest hardships that children and youth in foster care face.
Research continuously illustrates that every child and youth need a solid and unshakable attachment to at least one parenting adult, and that this relationship is key to a young person’s development and well-being.
A former at-risk foster youth turned youth advocate, Josh Shipp said it best, “Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story.”
DFS is in crisis, and we need the community’s help! There is a crucial need for foster homes; upwards of 300 new homes are needed to adequately meet the need of providing temporary homes for our most vulnerable population – our children and youth.
Interested in becoming a foster parent – get started today!
#1 RSVP for a Foster Care Information Session and fingerprint on site for free at www.clarkcountyfostecare.com
#2 Submit required application, personal and medical records documents
#3 Complete a 7-week pre-service caregiver training
Note: DFS offers a 2-week expedited option *pre-requisites required
#4 Complete a Home Safety Inspection and Family Assessment
#5 Receive Foster Care License and welcome a child, youth, teen, or sibling group into your home
Supports for Foster Parents
Supporting licensed foster parents and relative caregivers is a key responsibility of the Department of Family Services and community partners.
There are unique experiences and challenges that foster parents and relative caregivers face when caring for children and youth. Our DFS Resource Development and Support team is focused on being the bridge between families and our department to enhance a positive fostering relationship for all families.
Current DFS programs available to support foster families are Foster Parent Champions, Support and Retention, and WRAPS. The DFS teams work with foster families to be a helping hand at each stage of their fostering journey. DFS provides direct support and community referrals so that children in foster care receive the quality support they need from their foster families.
To support relative caregivers DFS has a partnership with Foster Kinship whose focus is supporting relative caregivers. 6% of children in Nevada are growing up in the home of their grandparents, other relatives and family friends and these caregivers too need resources to raise healthy children.
Foster Kinship provides a program that strengthens a caregivers’ capacity to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing home for vulnerable children. Foster Kinship helps keep home in the family. For more information reach out to Foster Kinship at www.fosterkinship.org
Foster Care is a community effort and with the support of the community we can build stronger families. #WeAreTheVillage
Proud Partners of Clark County Foster Care
Clark County Department of Family Services invites you to join our Proud Partners of Clark County Foster Care. A compassionate coalition of businesses, organizations, and others, that make up the Proud Partners who work together to make a difference for children in foster care. From organizing donation drives, to sponsoring special holiday events for children in care, to helping recruit more foster families in the community, DFS is thankful for all of the amazing members of the Proud Partners of Clark County Foster Care.
Currently, DFS is seeking partners for our Fostering Safety Drive. The Fostering Safety Drive is an effort to provide new foster families and relative caregivers with the necessary safety equipment needed to complete the Home Safety Inspection. DFS is looking for businesses to participate by collecting smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, outlet covers, magnetic cabinet locks, fire escape ladders, and more. For more information, please call (702) 455-4791 or visit the Proud Partners of Clark County Foster Care at https://www.clarkcountyfostercare.com.