Return to DPSS News

DPSS Turns 50


Dpss 50th annivesary banner

DPSS Celebrates 50 Years Of Providing Effective And Caring Services To The Residents Of Los Angeles County

The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) is celebrating 50 years of providing effective and caring service to the people of Los Angeles County.

Social services in Los Angeles County dates back 125 years to the former Office of Superintendent of Children and Women’s Work, providing care for destitute women and their children in accordance with the Poor Law of 1851.

Over the years, services and care were extended to include more of the county’s neediest residents and the office underwent several name changes until 1966 when it was finally renamed to what we now know as the Department of Public Social Services.

DPSS has become a national leader in providing social services and continues to develop innovative strategies to better serve residents by making it easier for them to access services.  DPSS is focused on developing partnerships with other county departments and community-based partners to benefit those in need of assistance.

"Our Department strives to provide excellent customer service to county residents and that means identifying opportunities to develop service partnerships with other county departments that benefit our shared customers,” states DPSS Director Sheryl L. Spiller.  “This enables us to take a holistic approach to understanding and effectively addressing our customers’ multiple needs.”

DPSS has come a long way since 1966, transforming its business model into a technologically innovative operation, allowing customers to apply for and access benefit information online without the need to come into any one of the 40 district offices.  With the Department’s on-line self-service option, “Your Benefits Now” (YBN), customers are able to submit applications for benefits, upload copies of required documents, receive important notices and monitor their case status.

With the rollout of the DPSS Health and Nutrition Mobile Unit, dedicated outreach staff visit communities in need to offer services in a fully computerized mobile office.

“We believe that providing excellent customer service means going the extra mile,” Spiller said. “We realize that many of our potential customers may not be able to access our services for a variety of reasons, including a lack of transportation, an erroneous belief that they do not qualify for public benefits and the stigma they face when considering accessing services.”

The Department is committed to collaborating with local community social service providers in order to ensure that everyone who is eligible and needs benefits and services receives them in a timely, accurate and dignified manner.

For more information on DPSS services, call 1-866-613-3777 or visit: https://dpssbenefits.lacounty.gov.

DPSS Building 1970

DPSS Office at Adams and Grant circa 1970

DPSS 1969

1969 - Career Clinic Counselor Dan DeLany conducts a trainee group session

DPSS 1969

1969 - DPSS Social Worker Gene House interviews an applicant