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SCDSS Recognizes June as Family Reunification Month


SCDSS Recognizes June as Family Reunification Month

June 1, 2023 – The Department of Social Services (DSS) recognizes and honors the month of June as Family Reunification Month to raise awareness and celebrate the work put into strengthening families. During the month, DSS recognizes families who have successfully reunited by overcoming challenges that required agency involvement.  This year’s theme, as recognized by the American Bar Association, is “We Believe in the Resiliency and Strength of Families”. This theme reflects the combined efforts and the partnership work of many involved individuals and systems that are necessary to overcome barriers to make reunification possible.

In calendar year 2022, there were 1,539 children and youth reunited with their families in South Carolina. As of June 1, 2023, 532 children and youth have been safely returned to their families so far in 2023.

SCDSS State Director Michael Leach stated, “When children are separated from their families, the first goal is to reunify them when it is safe enough to do so. Reunification offers parents a second chance to provide a stable, happy, and healthy life for their children. Biological parents, foster parents, child advocates, and many others play an intricate role in providing a family-like setting when children are placed into foster care temporarily.”

SCDSS works with the Family Court, judges, attorneys, Guardians Ad Litem, foster parents, child advocates, healthcare and mental health providers, non-profits and service providers, and other partners within the child welfare and well-being system to improve policies and practices to help keep families together. The unified goal is to implement evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes for children and their families and provide supports to families through forms of prevention efforts before child neglect and abuse ever occurs in the first place.

To see data on the agency’s reunification efforts, please click here.


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