Community Based Prevention Services

DSS receives calls daily from people who are concerned about children across South Carolina. Often times, these concerns are not abuse or neglect, but are issues that cause instability for the child and their family. DSS can respond to these families by referring them to Community Based Prevention Providers for services and support.

What are Community Based Prevention Services?

Community Based Prevention Services are free services offered by community organizations to families who are referred by DSS because of issues that are creating instability in the family. The services are designed to help the family develop a plan for gaining strength and connect them with resources to assist them in reducing further hardships that may lead to issues such as homelessness, breaking up of the family, or child abuse.

How does DSS Help?

When DSS receives a call with a concern about a child that is causing instability in the family, but is not abuse and neglect, DSS will provide their information to the local community organization that provides Community Based Prevention Services. The community organization will send out a care coordinator to explain the services and supports that are available to them. The family then decides whether they will accept the assistance offered.

Community Based Prevention Services are designed to increase a family’s ability to parent and handle every day stressors, help build a support system for the family, get them needed resources, and build a parent’s confidence to care for and raise their children. Services provided include:

  • support in the home
  • counseling
  • parenting classes
  • referrals to community services
  • assistance with job searches 
  • other services to make the family stronger and healthier

These services can help ease stressful situations, making it easier for families to focus on their children’s needs and well-being.
Child safety is always the first concern so, when needed, Community Based Prevention Providers ask DSS to check on the family to ensure that the children are safe.

Community Based Prevention Services allow DSS to assist more families and potentially prevent crises for families that may lead to child abuse or neglect.


DSS contracts with Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth to provide these services through local network providers across the state.

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.