Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS)
Initiated in April 1997 by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), HALOS is a collaboration among the MUSC departments of pediatrics and psychiatry, the Exchange Club Center, College of Charleston Center for Learning, Lowcountry Children's Center, Charleston County Department of Social Services (DSS), and the faith, business, and civic communities. By supplementing caseworker budgets, the program provides services and support for child abuse victims above and beyond what DSS caseworkers typically can offer. In addition to partnering with HALOS by "adopting" a DSS caseworker, organizations, businesses, and community members can participate in the program by making donations, providing services or materials, helping with transportation, and recruiting teachers. Some of the regular services provided by HALOS partners include summer camp opportunities, birthday salutes, back-to-school drives, and holiday giving programs. HALOS also assists vulnerable adults served by DSS. OVC is funding the program to evaluate its existing protocols and to expand and develop protocols and information for possible replication in other communities. For more information, visit the HALOS Web site.