Grant strengthens families

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) recently received a grant from the BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation to fund the development and implementation of a Peer Parent Mentoring program. Parent Partners will mentor eligible families by providing social support, offering guidance on how to navigate the process of reunification, and working with social workers and other professionals to ensure the family is getting needed resources. SCDSS will utilize the Iowa Parent Partner Approach model, which is rated as a “Promising” practice on the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. The Iowa Parent Partner Approach is rated as a promising practice because at least one study achieved a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution and demonstrated a favorable effect on the target outcomes of child permanency and reunification.

“The South Carolina Department of Social Services is thrilled to begin this work in partnership with the community and individuals with lived expertise thanks to the funding provided through this grant,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “Research shows that implementation of Parent Peer Support Models, like the Iowa Parent Partner Approach, increase the likelihood of reunification for children and youth in the foster care system, often reduce the time in care for these children and youth, and decrease the likelihood of re-entry into foster care, or recurrence of experiences of neglect and abuse.”

Evidence shows that effective implementation leads to a reduction in trauma experienced for the children and youth whose parents engage in the peer mentor program. Reduction in trauma and decreased recurrence of abuse and neglect have direct impacts on the improved mental, emotional and physical health for the children and youth impacted, as well as for their parents and caregivers.

SCDSS is one of many grant recipients through the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation. Additional information can be found at The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Author: Stephan Drew

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