SC DSS Marks February as Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 Gov. Henry McMaster has declared February 2018 as Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month in the state, which gives the South Carolina Department of Social Services the chance to highlight the agency’s Adult Advocacy Division.

“Our states senior citizens and adults with disabilities are valued members of our families, our society and our communities,” the Governor’s Proclamation states. “(The) observance of Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month reminds us of our shared responsibility to help ensure the health, safety, dignity and well-being of all disabled and elderly adults each and every day.”

A “vulnerable adult” is a person 18 or older who has a physical or mental condition which prevents the individual from providing for his or her own care or protection. This includes adults who are impaired because of brain damage, advanced age, and/or physical, mental or emotional dysfunction.

“When providing care and protection to the Vulnerable Adults in South Carolina, I am always mindful that many of these same Vulnerable Adults have been outstanding citizens and made sacrifices for our great state,” said Sherry Johnson, assistant director of Adult Advocacy Division. “It is an honor to serve them and it is a great pleasure to have the month of February designated as Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month which is a time when we can celebrate and recognize our senior citizens and adults with disabilities together as a community.”

The goal of the SC DSS’s Adult Protective Services is to assist vulnerable adults who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation.

In State Fiscal Year 2016-2017, DSS provided services for 7,413 vulnerable adults, and investigated 5,886 new reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation.

For more information on Adult Protective Services, visit protective-services/.

To report abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult, please contact your local DSS office. Phone numbers may be found at