Department of Social Services


The Columbus County Department of Social Services will strive to alleviate distress among the people of the county by promoting the general welfare and safe guarding of children, the elderly and disabled adults from abuse and neglect. We will encourage self sufficiency and promote personal responsibility.

Food and Nutrition Services Benefits to Increase by 25% Starting Oct. 1

Crisis Intervention Energy Program

Notice to Food & Nutrition Services Recipients

Crisis Intervention Program (CIP)

WHEN: Beginning November 7, 2016
WHERE: Columbus County DSS 
1) Household MUST meet an income test.
2) Household MUST include a U.S. citizen or an eligible alien.
3) Household MUST contain a person over age 60 or a child age 5 or under or a person with a verified medical condition (WITH A DOCTOR’S NOTE – which will be provided by DSS staff) and

  • -must have a disconnect notice that will take affect in less than 48 hours from BEMC or Duke Energy or
  • -must have less than $16 on their powerstat, or
  • -must have less than 10% fuel 

4) Household MUST be without another heating source.
5) Household MUST be without sufficient, timely, and appropriate assistance from any other source.
6) Everyone living in the household will be included in the application.
1) Picture I.D. for person making application and SS#’s of all household members
2) Cut off notice from Duke Progress Energy or Brunswick Electric
Powerstat card with a legible card number
3) If making an application for another person, must have a written statement from that person and a phone # where that person can be reached during the application process – can only be primary application and one other application
***Wood will also be available as a heating source (if wood is the primary heating source)***

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Family Support Services

Enables family units to remain intact and help the able-bodied to become self-sufficient.

Day Care Services for Children:
Provides protection, care and developmental experiences to low-income children in their own homes, the home of a caregiver, or in a day care facility.   Day Care is given primarily to support a family’s efforts to maintain employment and training.

Protective Payee Services:
Services to adults who are unable to manage their own resources or protect their own interests and have no family willing or able to serve as payee.

Services Intake:
Initiates clients into the service delivery system by assessing service needs, assisting with problem solving, providing counseling, information and referral.

Emergency Assistance:
Primarily assist families experiencing a crisis with shelter, utilities, prescription drugs, purchasing food and transportation.

Medical Transportation:
Provides transportation to and from medical providers for Medicaid recipients, the elderly, and disabled.

Work First Program:
Provides temporary short term financial assistance to low income families. The goal of the program is to enable the families to become self sufficient by actively participating in training or work related activities.

Child Support:
Locates absent parents, establishes legal obligations for absent parents to pay support, establishes paternity, monitors and enforces child support payments.

Food Assistance Program:
Provides supplemental food assistance to eligible persons and families.   By raising the levels of nutrition, this program helps safeguard the health and well being of low income households. 

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP):
A federally funded program that provides a one time payment to eligible low income households to help with the cost of fuel.

Medical Assistance for Families (Medicaid):
Assures basic medical care to low income families with children based on need, income, and resources.

Fraud Services:
Determines fraudulent intent, takes action to collect repayments, and when appropriate, initiates prosecution.

North Carolina Health Choice for Children:
A health insurance program to serve children from working families who earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private health insurance.

Adult Services


Assisting the elderly and disabled citizens in overcomimg the barriers to a healthy and satisfying life.

Aid to the Blind:
Assists the visually impaired in developing their maximum individual capacities and in becoming self sufficient.

Adult Day Care:
Supervises care in a licensed facility for less than 24 hours per day.    This service is to support the personal independence of disabled/older adults and to promote their social, physical and emotional well being.   DSS monitors facilities monthly to assure that care is provided in accordance with North Carolina Adult Day Care standards.

Domicillary Licensure:
Involves recruitment, licensure, relicensure and monitoring of rest homes and group homes.

Foster Care for Adults:
Helps locate suitable care for those adults who must be in a rest home or nursing home.

Adult Care Home Case Management:
The goal is to improve the overall quality of care for Special Assistance/Medicaid eligible residents of adult care homes.   The service provides additional support to those eligible residents who are seriously impaired and require more extensive assistance in order to have their needs adequately addressed.

The legal guardian is responsible for finding and consenting to appropriate physical, mental, and medical treatment.  As general guardian the Director also provides financial management for the client.

Protective Services for Adults:
Provided to correct or prevent abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly or disabled adults.

Medicaid for Adults:
Helps eligible elderly and disabled citizens access medical care.   Program helps adults remain in the community and pays cost for eligible citizens in nursing homes.

Special Assistance:
Supplements the cost of care to pay for rest home placement.

Family Services

Assist Families with problems and help children experience security and permanent homes.

Adoption Services:
Legally clear children for adoption, emotionally prepare older children for adoption, locate the best possible families, make adoptive placements and supervise placements.

Foster Care Licensure:
Licenses and supervises foster homes for children and provides training to foster parents to enable them to meet the needs of the children.

Foster Care Services:
Provides supervised twenty-four hour out of home care as needed by children who are in agency custody.

Protective Services for Children:
Services provided to children, their parents and/or caretakers in response to actual or suspected child neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or exploitation.

Contact Us

40 Government Complex Road

PO Box 397
Whiteville, NC 28472

State Courier#: 04-21-23
Voice 910-642-2800
Fax: 910-641-3970

Office Hours: 
Monday - Friday  8:30am - 5:00pm

Algernon McKenzie
(910) 641-3178

Personnel Technician II
Nola Wiles
(910) 641-3233

Accounting Specialist
Deana Hatcher 

Social Work Program Manager
Melinda Lane 
(910) 641-3205

Child Protective Services Supervisor (Investigations)
Patches McQueen

Child Protective Services Supervisor (Treatment)
Marcee Swindell-Thompson

Foster Care Supervisor
Dwella Hall 

Adoption Services Supervisor
Willena Bullard

Adult Protective Services Supervisor
Linda Young 

Work First Employment & Child Day Care Subsidy Program Supervisor II
Michelle Bordeaux
910-641-3970 fax

LTC/Support Services Supervisor
Zelda Smith

Income Maintenance Administrator
Cyndi P Hammonds

Family and Children 
Medicaid andHealth Choice 
for Children Supervisors

Kayla Murphy

Denise Branch 

Adult Medicaid Supervisors

Tammy Vereen 

Darlene Jenkins

Food and Nutrition 
Services Supervisors

Stephanie Roman

Shadonna Hemingway 

Child Support Establishment Supervisor
Jim Haynes

Child Support Enforcement Supervisor
Kimberly D Williams 

David Tedder
(910) 641-3177

Computer System Administrator II
Paula Spivey