News

New Texting Program Launched for Convenient Access to DSS Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Will Batchelor
(803) 898-7835
Will.Batchelor@dss.sc.gov

New Texting Program Launched for Convenient Access to DSS Services

August 22, 2022 - The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) has partnered with the United Way Association of South Carolina to launch a new texting feature that conveniently connects families and individuals to DSS resources through mobile devices.

DSS is using the United Way’s 211 service, which is an automated texting platform, to meet users where they are and in need of help. Users will be able to connect with information such as foster care support and public adoption services quickly and efficiently. The service was made possible by support from Duke Energy to the United Way Association of South Carolina to provide the community with a modern platform connecting them with local, verified, and trusted resources.

To access the service, the mobile device user simply needs to text “DSS” to 211211 and a menu of options will appear. Information on services including foster care, kinship care, adoption, child care, child support, adult advocacy, SNAP/TANF, and reporting suspected abuse/neglect will all appear. Upon making a choice, 211 will respond with a list of resources within seconds, making it easier for individuals and families to find what they are seeking quickly and clearly. This service is also available in Spanish. To watch a brief demonstration of the texting program, please click here.

“We are so happy to join with the United Way Association of South Carolina to be able to offer this convenient option to the clients we serve or for members of the public seeking information on DSS offerings,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “Now, more than ever, we rely on our phones for fast, accurate information. This new service puts a highly convenient tool in the hands of users. No longer do they potentially have to spend a significant amount of time looking for a specific phone number for assistance that best fits their needs. Now, all you have to remember is to text ‘DSS’ to 211211.”

“The United Way is extremely excited to partner with DSS to offer this great new resource to all residents of South Carolina,” said John-Mark Bell, Chief Operating Officer for United Way Association of South Carolina, “Anyone that needs help finding or accessing programs provided through DSS, such as child welfare services, adult advocacy, and food assistance through SNAP, can now simply text DSS to 211211. This free and simple tool allows residents to learn, explore, and access services designed to support those with the greatest need in our state. The United Way is proud to be a part of this project and we’re very grateful to partner with DSS to better serve all people in all communities.”  

To find out more about 211 services, visit https://sc211.org/.

 

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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.