Children and Youth

We believe children and youth in Idaho deserve to live happy, healthy lives in their communities and should be protected from abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Strengthening Idaho's families

Children have the right to grow and develop in safe, healthy, and permanent family environments. Idaho receives nearly 23,000 calls per year of suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, so you are not alone if you need to report concerns about a child.  Learn what to do if you need to make a report as we answer this and other questions about Idaho’s reporting law.

Strengthening Idaho's Families

Thriving families are a key to thriving communities. We know that parenting children can be hard; especially in these stressful times. That is why we created as a resource to all of us who need help sometimes. If you would like to talk to someone, call or text the Help Now Line at 986-867-1073.

Affectionate grandmother and granddaughter are hugging. Little girl is smiling with eyes closed
Keep Idaho's children and youth safe!
Learn more about reporting child abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Foster care and adoption

A family home is the best place for a child to live. But some parents cannot provide a safe home and, as a result, the child is placed in foster care. Becoming a foster parent means opening your life to a child or sibling group in foster care to provide them with a safe, nurturing home. It is a wonderful and life-changing experience for foster parents and children alike.

Adoption provides a child with a life-long legal and emotional family relationship. It includes the legal transfer of all parental rights from the child’s mother and father to another person or couple. Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities to their child as parents whose children were born to them.

Idaho's foster care program

To have foster and foster-to-adopt parents who are able to meet the diverse needs and characteristics of children in foster care: children with special needs, minority children, sibling groups, older children, and children who are in residential or group care placement who would benefit from a family setting.
Adoption provides a child with a life-long legal and emotional family relationship. It includes the legal transfer of all parental rights from the child’s mother and father to another person or couple.
Idaho’s Independent Living Program assists youth ages 14 to 21 in developing the skills necessary to transition from foster care to independent living.
Helping children in their everyday lives so they grow up to be happy and productive members of our communities.

Children and youth specialized needs resources

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a program that helps children and youth under the age of 18 who are identified as having serious emotional disturbance gain access to the mental health services they need.
Connect with local resources, other local parents, receive support, and access our resource library.
Medicaid provides health coverage for children who meet certain eligibility criteria. There are several different Medicaid programs available to address specific circumstances and needs of children.
Katie Beckett is a special program for children with complex medical needs or disabilities who live at home with their families.
Idaho Youth Ranch helps kids and families facing trauma, suicide, adversity, loss, and at-risk behaviors through proven, trauma-focused therapies.
Project Launch is committed to the early identification of developmental and behavioral concerns in children from birth to age eight. It supports the whole family's well-being.
Learn about affordable health insurance for youth who are at risk, homeless, or otherwise vulnerable.
Children's Special Health Program

The Children's Special Health Program (CSHP) is a statewide financial assistance program for uninsured children with a qualifying medical condition(s) requiring long-term multi-disciplinary medical treatment and rehabilitative measures to improve ability to function. CSHP works with families, providers, and communities to ensure access to care that is family-centered, community-based, and culturally sensitive.

Beautiful downs syndrome girl at a carnival smiling
Children's Special Health Services
Learn more about eligibility and services.
Idaho Parents Unlimited

Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL) supports, empowers, educates, and advocates to enhance the quality of life for Idahoans with disabilities and their families, and assists families who have children from birth to age 26.  IPUL works with parents, family members, and caregivers of children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs alongside the professionals who are a part of their lives.

Children's resources

Home visiting programs help parents and caregivers raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Based on the unique needs of the child, the Infant Toddler Program works with the family as a team to support the child's learning and development.
A supplemental nutrition program for Idaho's Women, Infants and Children. Learn more about types of foods available and find your local WIC office.
Head Start and Early Head Start's comprehensive family-focused programs promote school readiness by providing families with educational, health, wellness, nutritional, and social services.
Our in-home Mental Health Services offer individualized programs for pregnant women, infants and children through age five, to help guide healthy relationships, emotions and behaviors. Available to residents of Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem or Valley County.
Get tools, guides, and resources for children with incarcerated parents.
Immunizations allow a person to become protected against a disease through vaccination. Some vaccinations are provided at no or low-cost in Idaho.
Child Support Services helps families and children by establishing paternity, establishing or modifying an order for financial and medical support, receiving and distributing child support payments, and taking enforcement actions.
Find information here on how to order or change a birth certificate, and instructions to file a delayed birth certificate.
Group of kids running at a playground
Idaho schools
Find your local Idaho school district.
woman on computer with cup of coffee and pad of writing paper and pencil.
Visit our 2-1-1 library
Find parenting and child development resources and information