Tough economic times that greatly increased caseloads, coupled with budget
constraints that force the agency to do more with less, have the Department of
Social Services for Cumberland County in South Carolina searching for ways to
become more efficient.

The department has already gone paperless with its record keeping, and has
plans to add dictation software to its systems to expedite the processing of
eligibility requests, according to a recent Government Computer News report.

“The new capabilities would help social workers electronically capture and
maintain their work while they are in the field,” according to the GCN

By using digital voice recorders and dictation software, social workers can
gather information, while quickly and accurately entering it into the Department
of Social Services’ system. Such tools and other similar ones are available on

According to GCN, 6.4 percent of the Cumberland County’s population is
eligible for food and nutruitional aid from the Department of Social Services.
The number of families eligible for food stamps rose 10,618 between 2007 and
2010, but the agency has already cut its review time from an hour to fewer than
20 minutes.