COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) in partnership with the United Way Association of South Carolina has launched a texting program designed to more easily connect families and individuals with available resources.

Now, South Carolinians can text “DSS” to 211211 to access information on DSS services including foster care, kinship care, adoption, childcare, child support, adult advocacy, SNAP/TANF benefits, and how to report suspected abuse or neglect.

“Now, more than ever, we rely on our phones for fast, accurate information,” DSS State Director Michael Leach said. “This new service puts a highly convenient tool in the hands of users. No longer do they potentially have to spend a significant amount of time looking for a specific phone number for assistance that best fits their needs.

The new program is part of United Way’s 211 services, an automated texting platform that connects people in need of help with basic needs like housing, food, transportation, and health care with local organizations.

“The United Way is extremely excited to partner with DSS to offer this great new resource to all
residents of South Carolina,” John-Mark Bell, Chief Operating Officer for United Way Association
of South Carolina said. “This free and simple tool allows residents to learn, explore, and access services
designed to support those with the greatest need in our state. The United Way is proud to be a part of
this project and we’re very grateful to partner with DSS to better serve all people in all communities.”

The service is also available in Spanish.