The assessment of child safety and imminent risk of abuse and neglect are the two main focuses of Child Protective Services. The Department of Social Services (DSS) is charged with a thorough gathering of all reported allegations of potential abuse and/or neglect or risk of abuse and/or neglect. The agency assesses each call or referral and makes a determination regarding the imminence of danger alleged in the referral. The mission of the Child Protective Services department of DSS is to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.
The Department of Social Services acknowledges the need for partnerships with service providers within the community so that comprehensive treatment plans can be prepared for the children and/or their families. In fact, one of the tenants of the Department of Social Services is that community partnerships are vital to our operations. This agency cannot and should not operate in a vacuum. The ongoing collaborations between DSS and our local providers are critical to our effectiveness and most important to successful outcomes for the children and families we serve. In particular, our working relationship with our local children’s advocacy center, Hopeful Horizons, is vitally important. Hopeful Horizons provides forensic interviews, expert medical evaluations and trauma focused therapy to children who have been victimized. The information that they gather through their interviewing process is essential to the treatment plans we prepare and that same information is used in Family Court proceedings to not only protect the children, but also to obtain court ordered treatment for the alleged offender. The staff of Hopeful Horizons works closely with our investigative staff, and we engage in monthly multi-disciplinary staffings so that treatment plans and ongoing services can be reviewed.
What makes Beaufort County such a great place to work and collaborate is the collective mentality regarding being a community partner. We choose not to stay in our individual silos. Rather we have developed a mutual respect and friendship that allows for differences of opinion, all the while focusing on the most important issue: the children. Our partnership helps us to remember that “this is not about us. This is about the children and families we serve.”
Some leadership guru said “TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.”
Together, in Beaufort, we achieve more for the children and families who most deserve a voice and assistance because we have made a conscious effort to partner with each other, and we have created a solid team for the benefit of the clients we serve.