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Child Welfare

Child Welfare

The goal for Child & Family Services is to ensure that all children in Union County have safe, permanent and nurturing families.

Our Mission

The Division of Social Services Child Welfare Services Section is committed to provide family-centered services to children and families to achieve well-being through ensuring self-sufficiency, support, safety and permanence.

Protective Services for Children

Through an objective and proven process we:

  • Receive and screen reports of alleged abuse, neglect or dependency from individuals in the community
  • Assign accepted reports of suspected child maltreatment for assessment
  • Assess reports of child maltreatment and provide services to reduce risk of child maltreatment and ensure child safety
  • Provide foster care services, when necessary, to ensure child safety
  • Recruit, train, and license foster and adoptive parents

The foundational philosophy of the NC System of Care (SOC) is a family-centered practice. The six SOC principles are:

  • Inter-agency collaboration
  • Individualized strengths-based care
  • Cultural competence
  • Child and family involvement
  • Community-based services
  • Accountability

Duty to Report
In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 7B-301 (a): "Any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, as defined by G.S. 7B-101, or has died as the result of maltreatment, shall report the case of that juvenile to the director of the department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found."

How to report suspected child abuse, neglect and/or dependency
Reports of suspected child abuse, neglect, and/or dependency can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to any Division of Social Services agency. Reports may be made in person, by phone, or by mail.

Union County Division of Social Services contact information:

Mailing Address
1212 W. Roosevelt Blvd.
Monroe, NC 28110

Phone Numbers
Business hours reporting: 704-296-4300 (main line) OR 704-296-6124 (Child Protective Services hotline)
After-hours reporting: 704-289-1591 (Union County Central Communications)

Prevention and Aftercare Services

There are two components of the After Care and Prevention Program. Prevention cases are defined as denied CPS Intake reports that do not meet the statutory definition of abuse, neglect and dependency for an assessment. The family may in the future become involved in Child Protective Services and may benefit from prevention services.

After Care cases are defined as closed In Home Services and Foster Care cases, and Court referrals for families that have had previous DSS involvement that are in need of ongoing supervision. CPS Investigations cases referred to Aftercare and Prevention are defined as cases where there is no imminent risk at the time of case closure; however, the family could benefit from continued support from the Agency.

Aftercare and Prevention services are voluntary. The family must agree to participate in the program.

Union County Emergency Shelter Care Program

The Emergency Shelter Care Program is a 24-hour home that serves abused, neglected, dependent and court involved youth. Many of these youth are in crisis. This program provides the youth with a safe and supportive environment. The Emergency Shelter Care Program works collaboratively with the family and community agencies to stabilize the crisis and address unmet needs. One benefit of this program is that it allows the youth to remain in their community so that they can continue working with their family and existing natural supports. Youth can be referred through DSS and The Department of Public Safety/Court Counselors.

Independent Living Program (LINKS)

To help prepare youth for independent living, the LINKS program provides services to youth that are or have been in foster care between the ages of 13 through 21. The program utilizes the youth development approach and MRS Principles to assist adolescents to achieve self-sufficiency.

A photo of a little girl's sneakers


Child Welfare Services
Phone: 704-296-4300

Child Protective Services Intake Hotline:
Phone: 704-296-6124

After hours
Union County Communications
Phone: 704-289-1591

Department Staff

Child Welfare Services

Monica Smith
Division Manager

Foster Care/Adoptions/In-Home Services

Alisa Etters
Program Manager

Child Welfare Investigations/Intake Programs

Decora Bowers
Program Manager

Child Welfare Quality Assurance Program

Katie Coffey
Quality Assurance Program Manager

Emergency Shelter Care Program

James Christian
Shelter Manager

About Child Welfare

Union County’s Child Welfare Section is committed to achieving safety, permanence, and well-being for children at risk for abuse, neglect, and dependency. Based upon received and accepted reports, staff work one-on-one with families to assess, coordinate, and provide services that address the safety, risk, family strengths and needs, and well-being of children.

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.