"Need To Know!"

One reason people succeed is that they have knowledge other people don’t.

Erica Cunningham, Upstate Kinship Care Coordinator

I am Erica Cunningham, Kinship Care Coordinator for the Upstate.  I have been employed with DSS for seven years.  Kinship Care is a core practice at DSS.  My goal is to bring more community awareness about Kinship Care.  “My goal for Kinship Care would be to have more children who are not able to stay in their home placed with Kinship Caregivers so the children can stay in their communities with the people who love them instead of being placed in foster care.” 

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Chasiti Washington – Midlands Kinship Care Coordinator

I am Chasiti D. Washington, Program Coordinator II/ Kinship Care Coordinator for the Midlands. I have been working for the Department of Social Services for 13 years. I am a key component with the development, research and implementation of Kinship. As a Kin First state, we would like to continue to educate, train, and provide more supports/resources for our kinship families. “Family is not an important thing. It is everything. -Michael J. Fox

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Jada Moody-Davis, Pee Dee Kinship Care Coordinator

I am Jada Moody-Davis, Program Coordinator II, Kinship Care for the Pee Dee Region. Employed with SCDSS for over 20 plus years, I strive always to embody the core principles of “competence, courage, and compassion.” I take great pride in seeing South Carolina, from its inception to now, being lauded as a “Kin First State!” After having worked in multiple areas and programs at DSS, to say I have found my home in Kinship Care is an understatement. We “meet families where they are,” providing information, support and resources helping children who are unable to live with their biological families, thrive. At our very core we work to strengthen families. I am a professional and champion for Kinship Care. Together, we will continue to make a difference as we continue to step in and step up to support, encourage, inform and engage our families, child welfare staff and partners.I always

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Arnetta Washington – Lowcountry Kinship Care Coordinator

I am Arnetta Washington, the Kinship Care Coordinator for the Low Country. I have been employed with SCDSS for 14 years. Kinship Care holds a special place in my heart. I’m still a firm believer that “It Takes A Village” and having relatives and/or fictive kin along with our agency and community to step up in a family’s time of need is what a Real Village is all about. (Multiple people coming together, for one common goal!) My hopes are that we can obtain/provide more resources and financial support for our Kinship Families, while being just as supportive to the staff.  SC is a Kin First state therefore, we will continue to strive to keep our children with Familiar FACES in Familiar PLACES. #KinshipCare

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The decision to become foster parents to children and youth that have endured trauma and adverse experiences for most is an overwhelming yet joyful experience. The time you have with our children and youth, whether for a few days, a few months or longer, your impact is great!  It is you that provides safety, security, love, healing, hope and support to our children, youth, and their families. SCDSS is so incredibly grateful for the sacrifices you make each day and for making the decision to support foster care. The need for more licensed foster families in South Carolina continues to grow, specifically for foster families accepting of tweens, teens, sibling groups and bilingual families. You are our best recruiter! Please continue to share the need with friends, families, co-workers and in your community. We have great news again this year regarding foster care board rates.  The General Assembly recently approved

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The South Carolina Department of Social Services has issued monthly supplemental payments to qualified foster parents since March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result of the Public Health Emergency ending, the supplemental payments will also end, effective October 1, 2023.  The last supplemental payment you will receive for qualified placements will be in October 2023 for eligible placements as of September 2023. We thank you for your continued commitment to the health and well-being of the children and youth of South Carolina! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact FPHelp@dss.sc.gov or call the Foster Parent Helpline at 803-898-4174. Respectfully, Dawn Barton Director Child Welfare Office of Permanency Management South Carolina Department of Social Services Dawn.barton@dss.sc.gov

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