Child Welfare Services (CWS) is dedicated to the preservation of families through the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Members of a 24-hour emergency service respond to reports of abuse or neglect by providing assessment, counseling, crisis intervention and, if necessary, emergency shelter care. The primary goal of CWS is to provide a safe and stable home for children with their parents. When this is not possible, a permanent home is sought with alternate families.
In addition, CWS assists foster children ages 16 to 21 prepare for life as self-sufficient adults, conducts foster care home licensing, and facilitates the adoption of children that cannot return home. Recently, the Merced County Human Services Agency opened up the Main Street Youth Center. The center works with youth throughout the community to enhance the well-being of all youth, but especially foster care youth.
To report child abuse call (209) 385-3104 during working hours, Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM. For evenings and weekends contact (209) 722-9915.