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Director's Angle - July 2020

Director's Angle - July 2020

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the 2020 calendar year.  I know this year has been full of unknowns and has really shown the resilience of our staff, our ability to complete our work, and how we continue to move the work forward in all our program areas. 

At the outset of this crisis, our professionals quickly rallied in near miraculous fashion to continue our mission-critical operations. Our DSS team members, have worked tirelessly to continue providing services under unprecedented circumstances and every area of our agency has adapted its practices and processes to the state of emergency. I thank each of them for their continued dedication, passion and enthusiasm for what they do.

We just closed out the month of June- our annual reunification month, where we celebrate reunifying families. Removal into foster care, while sometimes necessary, can be a traumatic experience for all involved. When this must happen, our role as an agency is to rally around the family, assess needs, and provide the family with necessary services to address the initial safety concerns that brought the child(ren) into care to strengthen the family and reunite them, whenever it is safe and possible to do so. Family voice, engagement and involvement is critical in this work and the family should be at the center of everything we do.

I wanted to share this Facebook post from a Richland County foster parent, with their permission, that sums up our work: “There is much joy and sorrow in this picture, two homes are represented here. Two families who love this boy are in this frame. When he came into our home they cried and now it’s our turn to cry so they can rejoice.  Reunification is always the goal. The kids are always worth my grief and my love- for as long as I can share it with them. #ThisIsFosterCare.”

The tasks before us are not always easy.  Our work of providing food, resources and stability to one in six South Carolinians cannot stop even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever the citizens of South Carolina need each us and the services we as an agency provide. It’s important our staff know that their sacrifices are appreciated.