Social Services
 

 Families and Children''s Overview

Overview of services and assistance provided specifically for families and children. 

The overarching goal of DSS programming is to encourage and provide for the safety, well being, and permanence of children by supporting and enhancing family systems. This is achieved through a variety of programs available to all eligible Davidson County residents.

Making sure that children are protected is everyone's responsibility. It takes an entire community to ensure that families have access to good jobs, good schools, and a support system for parents raising children. Safety of children, therefore, is our primary concern and DSS recognizes that the family is a fundamental resource for the growth, development, and nurturance of children. DSS staff work - in partnership with family members - to ensure that all children are nurtured and well cared for. Davidson County DSS is committed to working with families to solve problems as they arise, thereby lowering the risk to children. To that end, crises are treated as opportunities for a family to make positive, lasting changes.

What do we do?

In times of need, assistance to families in the form of Food & Nutrition Services and Medical Assistance is available to keep family members healthy. In the event of a crisis, Emergency Assistance is available to help eligible families with things like rent or mortgage payments or to avoid utilities being cut off. Work First provides cash assistance for parents who are trying to develop their job skills and then find a new job.

Even if a parent is absent from the home, they still bear the responsibility of providing for their children. Child Support Enforcement works with custodial parents to ensure that absent parents support their children.

If parents are working or going to school to enhance their job skills, Day Care assistance may be available so that children can be cared for in a safe environment. Parents are encouraged to use the NC Child Care star rating system in order to choose a quality day care setting for their children.

When Social Services is notified of or suspects possible abuse, neglect, or dependency, Child Protective Servicesinvestigates to determine if the situation merits an intervention by DSS or if other services are needed. Whenever possible, families are kept together and CPS staff work to develop and implement plans designed to correct unsafe situations and improve a child's quality of life. This plan may include involving families in DSS' Family Outreach program.

Not all children are able to remain in their own homes. If and when it is determined by a judge that their environment is unsafe, a child may be ordered into the custody of Davidson County Department of Social Services. However,Foster Care continues to work with the family in order to correct the issues that ultimately led to the child's removal. When it becomes obvious that a child cannot return to live safely with their biological family, Adoption staff work to find a permanent, loving home for these children.

Davidson County Social Services does not discriminate in the provision of services to all qualified persons.