Parents & Families

Children do better when both parents are involved in their lives. Non-custodial parents who support their children financially are also more likely to see them regularly and provide emotional support, which leads to better life outcomes for the family.

Sometimes families need formal agreements paid through the court to make sure children are supported financially. There are about 253,000 child support cases in South Carolina that are paid through the court. 75% of these cases are assisted by the Department of Social Services. DSS serves 1 in every 4 children in South Carolina through Child Support. For those cases served by DSS, almost $300 million was collected on behalf of children in Federal Fiscal Year 2015.

How Does DSS Help?
Child support services are available to anyone in South Carolina regardless of how much money you make. In fact, only about 10% of families receiving services for child support are on TANF. DSS provides services through regional offices and at the county Clerks of Court offices.

DSS can help:

  • Establish paternity
  • Locate absent parents
  • Establish a Child Support Order through the Court
  • Collect child support payments from the parent owing support and distribute payments to the parent receiving support.

Through the Fatherhood program, DSS can also help parents owing support:

  • Seek employment
  • Overcome barriers to employment
  • Develop better parenting skills
  • Improve relations with the other parent



As part of its reform efforts, SCDSS entered into a Final Settlement Agreement regarding the Michelle H., federal class action lawsuit and has committed to short-term, intermediate, and long-term systemic improvements for children in foster care.

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