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Appendix A: Duties and Responsibilities for the Department of Children and Families

An overview of the statutory responsibilities of DCF.

Table of Contents


Section 2 of Chapter 18B of the Massachusetts General Laws establishes the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Children and Families as follows:

The department shall provide and administer a comprehensive child welfare program for children and families, including the following services:--

  1. casework or counseling, including services to families, foster families or individuals;
  2. protective services for children;
  3. legal services for families, children or individuals who are clients of the department;
  4. adoption services;
  5. information and referral services;
  6. foster family care for children and specialized foster family care for children with special needs;
  7. residential care for children with special needs who are not suited for foster family care or specialized foster family care;
  8. informal education and group activities;
  9. training in parenthood and home management for parents, foster parents and prospective parents;
  10. family services intended to prevent the need for foster care and services to children in foster care;
  11. temporary residential programs providing counseling and supportive assistance for families in transition and their children who, because of domestic violence, homelessness, or other situations, require temporary shelter and assistance;
  12. camping services;
  13. information and referral services;
  14. services for families and individuals in emergency and transitional housing;
  15. comprehensive youth development services;
  16. access to and coordination of medical, dental and mental health services for children in foster care whose families are receiving services from other state agencies; and
  17. child care placements for children whose families have an open case with the department.
Date published: December 7, 2017