Important Changes Due to the COVID-19 Virus

  • During this time, the Department of Human Services is encouraging customers to utilize online self-service options. We have shortened our hours as a result of Kern County moving to an essential-staffing only model due to the quickly changing situation related to the COVID-19 virus. 
  • While our office will be closed to the public, we will continue to provide restricted in-person homeless services only between the hours of 7:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Our main lobby located at 100 E. California Avenue, Bakersfield, will conduct in-office interviews with our homeless clients by telephone utilizing the recently installed telephones in the lobby interview booths.
  • Due to these shortened hours and social distancing regulations, we are encouraging our clients to make use of our online options. Please go to and download the mobile app to apply for and keep track of your benefits, services, and application and redetermination forms. Applications for CalFresh may be made by phone at (661) 631-6062 and applications for Medi-Cal benefits can be made by calling 1-800-300-1506.
  • If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at (661) 631-6011 (Countywide) or (760) 375-6049 in Ridgecrest. Reports of child abuse can be made at any time.
  • Also, due to our limited service hours, we are encouraging clients to contact the EBT Customer Service line toll free at 1-877-328-9677 to report a lost, stolen, or damaged card, as well as to request a card replacement by mail.
  • Information regarding services will also be available by phone at (661) 631-6000. We want to reiterate, all critical services will be provided during our shortened hours.

Thank you for understanding.


Welfare and Institutional Code

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Emergency Response (ER)

(Welfare and Institutional Code § 16504)

A 24-hour response system designed to receive, investigate and evaluate reports of child abuse and neglect. Any child reported to the Department of Human Services to be endangered by abuse, neglect or exploitation shall be eligible for initial intake and evaluation of risk services. In emergency situations, an immediate in-person response shall be made by a social worker in accordance with department regulations.

Family Maintenance (FM)

(Welfare and Institutional Code § 16506)

These services shall be provided in order to maintain the child in his or her own home. Services shall only be provided to the following:

  1. Families whose child has been adjudicated a dependent of the court under Section 300, and where the court has ordered the county welfare department to supervise while the child remains in the child's home.
  2. Families whose child is in potential danger of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, who are willing to accept services and participate in corrective efforts, and where it is safe for the child to remain in the child's home on with the provision of services.
  3. Families in which the child is in the care of a previously noncustodial parent, under the supervision of the juvenile court.

Family Reunification (FR)

(Welfare and Institutional Code § 16507)

Family Services shall be provided or arranged for by the county welfare department staff in order to reunite the child separated from his or her parents because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Family reunification services shall only be provided when a child has been placed in out-of-home care, or is in the care of a previously noncustodial parent under the supervision of the juvenile court. When a minor has been placed in foster care with a nonparent, family reunification services may be provided to one or both parents.

Permanent Placement (PP)

(Welfare and Institutional Code § 16508)

Services shall be provided for children who cannot safely live with their parents and are not likely to return to their own homes. The following children are eligible to receive these services:

  1. Children judged dependent under Section 300 where a review has determined that reunification, adoption, or guardianship is inappropriate.
  2. Recipients of public assistance under non-federally funded Aid to Families with Dependent Children programs who are wards of a legal guardian where a review has determined that reunification or adaption is inappropriate.

Extended Foster Care (EFC)

(Welfare and Institutional Code § 11403)

Eligible foster youth can voluntarily remain in foster care after the age of 18 as a Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs) until 21. NMDs are required to sign an agreement, live in an approved placement, meet monthly with their Social Service Worker/Probation Officer, complete a Transition Independent Living Plan, provide proof of participation, and have a court hearing every 6 months. The program is designed to promote self-sufficiency as foster youth transition through adulthood. NMDs participation consists of one or more of the following: completing high school or equivalent program; enrolled in post-secondary education or vocational training, participating in a program designed to remove barriers to employment; employed at least 80 hours a month; or unable to do one of the previously mentioned requirements due to diagnosed medical condition. NMDs can exit and re-enter foster care as needed or until they are no longer eligible. Various housing options are available.


(Welfare and Institutional Code § 16508)

The Kern County Human Services Agency is a full service adoption agency licensed by the California Department of Social Services. An "agency within an agency", the Adoption program provides a continuum of services to members of the adoption triad - birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents. Adoption services are available to residents of Kern and Inyo Counties.