Pilot program brings social services assistance to seven Missouri college campuses

Social Services Graphic

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development has partnered with the Department of Social Services and seven of Missouri’s postsecondary institutions across the state to make social services easily accessible for college students and staff.

This pilot program enables DSS to have a member of the department’s Family Support Division team on campus one day a week to serve and support the needs of students and staff.

“College students often face many of the same barriers as other vulnerable populations throughout the state,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “We’re excited to partner with DSS to deliver important social services to Missouri’s college students and look forward to seeing where this partnership goes.”   

Last week, the following institutions started offering campus Family Support Division services:

Lindenwood University – Fridays
Logan University – Thursdays
Missouri Southern State University – Tuesdays
North Central Missouri College – Wednesdays
Park University – Wednesdays
Rockhurst University – Wednesdays

Ozarks Technical Community College will offer on-campus Family Support Division services on Thursdays beginning the week of November 16.

Students and staff at these colleges can apply for SNAP (Food Stamps), Medicaid, child care, or temporary assistance benefits by simply scheduling an appointment through the campus to get assistance.

“In recent years, the Family Support Division has been working to make services more accessible to Missouri citizens,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “We are excited about this partnership with our Missouri colleges and the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development to bring on-campus assistance to students and staff in need of support. We hope other colleges and universities will be interested in dedicated on-campus Family Support Division services to provide better customer service to Missourians working and going to school at their institutions.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments are currently limited to a virtual-office visit until offices reopen. This new service option is in addition to online, call center, and resource center support that the Family Support Division currently offers to all Missourians.