Connected Families is a unique expansion of the PAT program due to its emphasis on Family Preservation Services through the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS’s Family Preservation Services are short-term, family-focused services designed to help families in crisis by improving parenting and family functioning, while keeping children safe. Charleston County First Steps works closely with the local DSS office to implement this PAT expansion. Three Parent Educators serve families with children prenatal to age 5 over a 3-year period. Connected Families focuses on the prevention of child abuse/neglect, supporting child development, helping children to remain at home, reunification, and the strengthening of families.