SC selected for new program to redesign child welfare system

SC selected for new program to redesign child welfare system
“Thriving Families” looks to prevent child maltreatment and unnecessary family separation. (Source: Canva)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Wednesday, officials with the Department of Social Services announced South Carolina has been selected as one of four jurisdictions that will take part in a new program intended to move child welfare systems to a program they say supports “holistic child and family well-being.”

The “Thriving Families” program was developed by the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the Casey Family Programs, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Prevent Child Abuse America. “Thriving Families” looks to prevent child maltreatment and unnecessary family separation.

“Having South Carolina chosen as one of the four demonstration sites in the entire country shows that SC DSS is making progress in serving our state’s children and families. There is no better time than right now to move our state from a reactive child welfare system to a system that enables greater, more fluid interagency coordination and collaboration in serving families,” said DSS State Director Michael Leach. “We want to create a system of robust community-based interventions and services available for all families, that takes into consideration social determinants of health. Families are one of our society’s greatest strengths and it’s time to change how the system thinks and serves children and families to create a structure that removes the stigma of seeking assistance and shifts towards a narrative that normalizes help, one that is accessible, and feels accessible, to all families regardless of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. There has been no better time than right now to make this fundamental shift.”

The program will partner with federal agencies, non-profit, and community stakeholders in an effort to help families across the state.

Los Angeles County, Nebraska, and Colorado will also be among the first tier of participants in this program.

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