South Carolina Legislature



Subcommittee Chair:

Subcommittee Members:

Agency Website:

Agency Head:

Study Contact:
Contact Email:

Intended Public Benefits of Agency's Strategic Plan

Below are links, by year, to Excel documents that include the agency's strategic plan and intended public benefit of the goals and objectives in the plan. Also included are the intended public benefits for the agency's current strategic plan. This information was provided by the agency in its Annual Restructuring Report, Program Evaluation, Request for Information, or Accountability Report.

In the Annual Restructuring Report, the agency was asked to provide information about the outcome or intended public benefit of each agency goal and objective. This is the public benefit provided, or harm prevented, by accomplishment of the objective and goal.

Current Intended Public Benefits (2015-16)

Goal 1
  • The intended outcome of this goal is the increased promotion of the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and vulnerable adults. This includes making quality intake decisions, improving the timeliness of initiating investigations, improving the quality and consistency of ongoing assessments of safety and risk, reducing repeat maltreatment, developing a Case Practice Model, improving the permanency and stability of children and vulnerable adults in their living situations, ensuring the educational, physical and mental health needs of children and vulnerable adults are addressed, providing services and supports to help youth in foster care successfully transition to living independently, improving the continuity of family connections, educating families and training providers to help ensure children receive safe and quality child care, improving the assessment, referral and follow-up of domestic violence services, and more. (Goal 1)
  • Regularly evaluate results of initial regional intake roll-out (volume and quality). Develop plan for statewide implementation of regionalized intake, including hiring of additional Human Services employees needed for successful implementation. Complete conversion and training for VOIP phone system. Improve tools and consistency across regions for screening children and vulnerable adults. Increase public awareness regarding mandated reporters and criteria for accepted abuse and neglect reports. (Objective A1)
  • Conduct regular review of Investigation timeframes. Conduct regular quality assurance case reviews to ensure timely services. Complete the Business Process Redesign for Assessment and implement recommendations. (Objective A2)
  • Complete the development and pilot of the new Child and Family Assessment and Case Planning Tool. Develop a new Adult Assessment and Case Planning Tool. Build capacity and skills for identifying, reporting, and determining services for victims of sex trafficking. Build Supervisory capacity and skills to continually improve support for critical thinking around child and adult vulnerability and caregiver protective capacity. Implement trauma-based assessment. (Objective A3)
  • Utilize Family Engagement services in conjunction with the Signs of Safety framework to identify and engage family networks and enhance the family's ability to provide ongoing safety. Build staff competencies to create ongoing safety networks for children prior to all case closures. Develop a strategy / framework for engaging family and community supports for vulnerable adults. Assess services on a regional level that are available for children and vulnerable adults and their caregivers. (Objective A4)
  • Provide regional trauma-informed care training for all front line staff. Continue progress towards full statewide implementation of Signs of Safety. (Objective A5)
  • Promote positive permanency through ensuring that decisions made for children are helping to meet the ultimate goal of 1) Reunification 2) Adoption by Family 3) Custody and Guardianship by Family or 4) Adoption by other. Improve caseworker decision-making to help ensure placement, including Kinship placement, is in the best interest of the child and consistent with achieving the goal of permanency. Develop protocol and guidelines to help DSS staff evaluate and better assess the need for congregate care. Develop and increase placement options for vulnerable adults. Evaluate need for implementation of training for Adult Protective Services homemaker staff to assist adults in meeting their Activities of Daily Living. (Objective A6)
  • Increase eligibility and access for children and youth to Interagency System for Caring for Emotionally Disturbed Children (ISCEDC). Address barriers for access to Medicaid services. Implement the Health and Education passports in Child and Adult Protective Services System (CAPSS). Increase technical assistance for implementation of Developmental Screenings. Improve the quality and availability of services for vulnerable adults. (Objective A7)
  • Utilize best practices to engage and support youth in identifying positive supports and lifelong connections to assist youth in the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency. Conduct case planning with all youth to include at least two adults of the youth's choice. Conduct transition planning with youth and their support network prior to the youth's 18th birthday. Improve practice, services, and resources for youth through continued tracking and data analysis of the National Youth in Transition Database. (Objective A8)
  • Provide program service array aligned with the needs of children, youth, families and vulnerable adults. Provide access to Community Based Prevention Services; ensure services are aligned with DSS policy and expected outcomes are clearly articulated and measured. (Objective A9)
  • Inform parents about safe child care and provide accurate and updated information to guide parent's informed decision-making. Recruit Centers to participate in Quality Child Care program. Implement business redesign recommendations to increase safety measures and monitoring of child care facilities. (Objective A10)
  • Ensure staff is properly trained on domestic violence assessment and referrals. Implement programming aimed at reducing domestic violence. (Objective A11)

  • Goal 2
  • The intended outcome of this goal is that family units will be preserved by enhancing the capacity of individuals and families to provide for their own needs. This includes increasing the recruitment, retention, and capacity of foster and adoptive parents, helping prepare and transition clients to employment and self-sufficiency, ensuring appropriate resources are distributed with integrity and in a timely, accurate, and equitable manner, providing assistance to custodial parents who need help obtaining child support payments, completing the transformation of the Child Support Program, and more. (Goal 2)
  • Enhance availability and quality of post-adoptive support services. Target recruitment for adoption of older children and sibling groups. Implement business process redesign for foster care licensing. Develop and implement business process redesign for recruitment of prospective adoptive families. Increase monthly foster care rate based on current data for the Southeast region, provide assistance to kinship caretakers. Complete county-based data sheets for foster home recruitment campaign. Provide ongoing training for foster parents and congregate care providers on services and resources available to youth and how to access and receive funding for these services. Periodically review payment rates paid to foster parents and other foster care providers and assess if they are reasonable for current conditions. (Objective B1)
  • Provide temporary resources, programs and support services to qualified recipients, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Child Care Vouchers. Increase number of child care vouchers. Provide quality workforce readiness training. Enhance the marketing of workforce services to prospective employers. Provide family strengthening programs and support services. Evaluate the effectiveness of family strengthening programs and support services and modify as needed to improve outcomes. (Objective B2)
  • Help prevent fraud and abuse of programs by maintaining effective benefits integrity program. Provide timely and accurate Board payments for Foster Parents and congregate care facilities. Evaluate and improve process of providing clothing allowance for children in foster care. Develop and evaluate process of Medicaid eligibility for children in care and vulnerable adults in DSS custody. Work with Clerks of Court to ensure child support payments are disbursed in a timely manner. (Objective B3)
  • Ensure Support Orders are established accurately and in a timely manner. Utilize administrative remedies and behavioral economics to promote consistent, timely payments of child support. (Objective B4)
  • Complete the development of the Palmetto Automated Child Support System (PACSS). Clearly communicate Child Support System project milestones, progress and challenges, both internally and externally. Complete change management policies, procedures, and practice to move from a decentralized program to a centralized program for collection and distribution of child support and spousal support. (Objective B5)

  • Goal 3
  • The intended outcome of this goal is that the workforce at DSS is supported in their efforts to provide high-quality service that is responsible and engaged. This includes recruiting and retaining a sufficient workforce of qualified and diverse individuals, improving the performance and quality of service through continuous professional development, coaching, training, and cross training, fostering a culture of customer service, both internally and externally, managing caseloads by establishing and implementing caseload standards, establishing and maintaining a Continuous Quality Improvement System and enhancing the capacity of DSS staff to analyze and use data to inform and improve decision-making, strengthening and supporting the well-being of the DSS workforce, including assistance to address secondary trauma experienced by staff, developing uniform processes for updating and disseminating policy updates, including statutory changes, enduring all contracts have a defined purpose and include measurable outcomes and deliverables, protecting the assets of DSS, ensuring accountability over funds, and helping prevent and defect fraud waste, and abuse, and more. (Goal 3)
  • Streamline hiring and on-boarding of staff.
  • Work with Universities to establish pipeline of qualified applicants. Enhance recruitment marketing efforts. Improve HR systems throughout hiring process. Enhance employee orientation. Implement student loan repayment and tuition incentive program for DSS Staff. Develop career ladder, with performance incentives, for staff in human services, economic services, child support and other divisions. Provide in-band and equity pay increases. Hire and train casework staff to expand 2nd and 3rd shift pilot program; evaluate impact of pilot on staff turnover. Conduct annual employee satisfaction surveys and provide feedback to staff on results; utilize results to improve retention efforts. Evaluate and improve employee exit survey process; utilize results to improve retention efforts. (Objective C1)
  • Hire Training Director and Regional trainers. Create comprehensive staff training plan. Support staff in attending Leadership Development opportunities for DSS middle managers and executive leadership across all disciplines. Implement system to track employee training. Develop strategies for cross-training throughout the Department. Ensure proper resources and infrastructure (e.g. desks, phones, computers, building space, etc.) are provided for newly hired employees in a timely manner. (Objective C2)
  • Ensure customers are well-informed of services and resources available; communicate consistently throughout the Department. Provide Customer Service training (during onboarding and on-going). (Objective C3)
  • Conduct ongoing analysis and evaluation of statewide caseload / caseworker need based on best practice standards. Develop formal methodology for even distribution of caseloads and allocation of staff across all Divisions. Hire additional caseworkers across all program areas to decrease caseloads and improve service quality statewide. Improve resources in General Counsel's office to help reduce caseloads, expedite case processing, and improve case quality. (Objective C4)
  • Develop written protocol and policies for CQI. Evaluate the use of data for performance management. Ensure staff are equipped and resourced to accurately conduct data entry. Effectively communicate agency data and outcomes to stakeholders. (Objective C5)
  • Develop and implement counseling support program for workforce. Provide staff training on violence, prevention, de-escalation, and safety protocols. Promote safety of staff through re-design of office building environments (lighting, keyless access, cameras, panic button, etc.) (Objective C6)
  • Update policy manuals throughout the Department. Decrease use of Directed Memos in policy updates. Evaluate possibility of developing an Office of Policy Management. (Objective C7)
  • Standardize process for grants and contracts including approvals, tracking, and evaluation. (Objective C8)
  • Create an Office of the Inspector General to improve oversight of the agency and to increase the safety and security of agency personnel and assets. Continue to provide, through the Administrative Services divisions, services that support divisions, regional and county offices in providing effective client services, oversight and internal controls. Perform internal audits on a regular basis to help to determine if internal controls within the Agency are performing properly, and make recommendations to help resolve any findings. Monitor and help to resolve any findings that might relate to DSS, when they are found in Single Audits received from our subrecipients. Continue to carry out a Fraud Prevention and Detection Program, which includes periodic random surprise audits, an Agency fraud hotline for reporting fraud, and periodic Fraud Prevention training. Coordinate with law enforcement, DSS Inspector General's Office and the SC Inspector General's Office on fraud investigations. (Objective C9)

  • Goal 4
  • The intended outcome of this goal is to foster trust, collaboration and communication with stakeholders to improve outcomes for children, families and vulnerable adults. This includes strengthening partner relationships and increasing recognition that safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of the entire community, increasing awareness of DSS mission, programs, services, and strategic priorities, strengthening alignment among DSS and other governmental agencies to provide more effective and efficient services to clients, fostering a culture of transparency, providing timely, consistent, accurate and culturally responsive communication, improving responsiveness to public feedback, providing two-way communication channels to keep employees and partners informed while soliciting on-going input, and more. (Goal 4)
  • Define "partners"; ensure consistent definition throughout DSS through standardized MOU processing. Inventory existing partnerships and identify which divisions work with each; publish on Unite. Enhance Partner Meetings and ensure more consistency in meeting processes and outcomes across regions. Provide "DSS 101" for legislators, media and partners. Continue to strengthen DSS Advisory Group. (Objective D1)
  • Develop a Strategic Communications Plan including: (1) Guidelines for external communication; (2) Guidelines on what information is legally discoverable; (3) Policy for approvals for utilizing social media, response to media requests, etc.; and (4) Common definitions for key terms. Develop a plan for quarterly video messages from Director and DSS Senior Staff. Proactively tell the positive stories and outcomes of DSS. (Objective D2)
  • Convene "roundtables" consisting of DSS and partner agency representatives. (Objective D3)
  • Train agency staff on how to safely share information while adhering to statutory requirements as it relates to confidentiality. Increase awareness among external stakeholders and legislators about confidentiality requirements. (Objective D4)
  • Ensure internal and external audiences can easily access a comprehensive, up-to-date DSS resource directory and information. Improve access, capabilities and utilization of technology in communication. Develop, update and publish information using a wide range of vehicles such as videos, tip sheets, brochures, TV monitors, fact sheets, etc. Establish a speaker's bureau. Launch the redesigned internal and external website. (Objective D5)
  • Standardize mechanisms for constituent feedback including centralized log for all divisions. Standardize process for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) responses. Develop critical incidence response protocol. (Objective D6)
  • Create electronic internal feedback loop for staff on website. Improve utilization of face-to-face meetings as a two-way communication vehicle. Utilize employee satisfaction surveys as two-way communication vehicle. (Objective D7)

  • Legislative Services Agency
    h t t p : / / w w w . s c s t a t e h o u s e . g o v