News

August recognized as Child Support Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Danielle Jones
(803) 898-7248
Danielle.Jones@dss.sc.gov

August recognized as Child Support Awareness Month

August 9th, 2021 – The South Carolina Department of Social Services is recognizing August as Child Support Awareness Month. This month is to help inform the public about child support and the services that are available to assist families in South Carolina. This is also a time to celebrate families who make a positive impact on the health and financial well-being of their children.

“August is an opportunity to draw attention to the need for both parents to provide support for their children.  For many households, the receipt of child support is a critical source of income,” said SCDSS State Director Michael Leach.

Statistics show a middle-income, middle-class family who had a child in 2015 will spend $284,570 to raise a child to adulthood. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly 22 million children in the country have an absent parent in the home, and the poverty rate for these children is about three times higher than it is for children in households with both parents.  The Child Support program operated by SCDSS helps mitigate that in a number of ways.

In 2019, DSS launched the Palmetto Automated Child Support System (PACSS) to help parents better manage their cases. In March 2021, a new online customer portal was launched as part of PACSS where users can view latest payment information and any upcoming hearings, update personal information, make online payments, and have access to applications for services. Since its launch, the portal now has nearly 13,000 users accounting for 19,000 cases. There has been a total of 174,000 case inquires during that time. Over $340 million in child support was collected in the federal fiscal year 2020, an increase of 13% over the previous year, despite the pandemic and prolonged family court closures.

Another one of the DSS Child Support Program’s offerings is the Visitation Involved Parenting Program, also known as the V.I.P. Program. It operates in sixteen South Carolina counties. The program offers parenting classes, mediation, and help with establishing and enforcing orders.

To learn more about South Carolina’s Child Support program and how to apply for services, please visit:    https://dss.sc.gov/child-support/.

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Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.