When your child is placed in Foster Care

The goal of the child welfare system is to protect children and provide services to help them safely stay at home. When a court decides a child can no longer stay at their home, the Children’s Division and court system will work together with the family to try to help the child safely return. By working together, most children are able to eventually return home to their parent(s), grandparent, or another relative.

The court ultimately decides if a child should enter foster care, also called Out of Home Care. Depending on the needs of the child, placement may be provided by a relative or kin that has been approved for placement, a licensed foster parent, or a licensed residential facility. The court will also ultimately decide if and when things have improved to the point that a child can safely return home.

What help is available?

We work with community partners and other agencies to protect children and provide services to families so that their children can return and remain safely at home. These services are available through the Children's Division and may be helpful to your family. If you have questions or if you would like to learn how to get help, please contact the Children’s Division at 573-522-1191 or email fostercare@dss.mo.gov. Services include:

If your family needs help paying for food, health care, child care, help with child support, or with any other assistance programs, the Family Support Division can help.