SC Welfare Agency Catches A Break

For the better part of the last three years this website has been exposing issue after issue at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – the Palmetto State’s grossly negligent welfare agency. Led by Nikki Haley’s appointee Lillian Koller, the agency is facing mounting scrutiny of late over a…

For the better part of the last three years this website has been exposing issue after issue at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – the Palmetto State’s grossly negligent welfare agency.

Led by Nikki Haley’s appointee Lillian Koller, the agency is facing mounting scrutiny of late over a wide range of issues – among them costly incompetence, inexcusable delayschild endangermentmanipulated data and more manipulated data.

Gradually the state’s bureaucrat-friendly mainstream media has been waking up to the problem, and this week The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – the “slow zebra” of South Carolina’s MSM establishment – finally got in on the action.

According to the paper, a veteran child welfare case worker told a Senate subcommittee this week that Haley’s agency is basically one of the nine circles of hell.

“I have been in this business for over 30 years,” the case worker said. “And, honestly, I have never in my life been so scared or frightened for the safety of our children as I am today.”

Wow … that’s a pretty damning assessment.

Of course if anyone thought this incredibly important investigation was going to escape crass politicization by opportunistic establishment politicians … they were wrong.


Enter S.C. Sen. Joel Lourie (D-Richland).

“Something has gone wrong within the agency in the last year, terribly wrong,” Lourie said. “The consequences are tragic, and I think they have let the children of South Carolina down.”

First of all, “no sh*t, Sherlock.” Kids in South Carolina have been let down in every way imaginable under your watch for decades. Thank you for your penetrating insights.

More importantly … Joel Lourie? Really?

For those of you unfamiliar with Lourie, he’s the consummate two-bit liberal insider shyster … a Jewish Al Sharpton, if you will. Get between this hack and a television camera and you will be run over.

Lourie’s involvement in this probe means three things: 1) Facts and objectivity are about to go out the window, 2) The credibility of the investigation into SCDSS is in serious jeopardy, and 3) Nikki Haley and Lillian Koller are breathing a huge sigh of relief.

The sad part of all this? There are several GOP lawmakers – including S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy, S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne and Rep. Kirkman Finlay – who have been digging into SCDSS for months. In fact sources at the agency tell FITS Shealy submitted a list of dozens of questions to the director’s office last week as part of her efforts to get to the bottom of its myriad problems. Meanwhile Horne requested a legislative audit of the agency way back in March.

Lourie’s lust for the spotlight now puts these legitimate inquiries at risk …

During the recent Greenwood tuberculosis scandal Lourie repeatedly proved that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth – and that his motivation for spewing half-truths and outright lies was all about scoring political points and elevating his own profile.

SCDSS is a disaster from top-to-bottom – and heads deserve to roll as a result of its rampant ineptitude and corruption. But the surest way to make sure that never happens is for Democrats to continue letting Joel Lourie take center stage.

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sweepin October 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

zzzzzzz….feigned indignation that a Dem would actually speak publicly in the press. Yet, visceral Tea Party uncontrolled yells and catcalls protect Liberty.

You gotta love these cartoons!

Smirks October 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

“Jewish Al Sharpton?” That’s hilarious stuff!

nitrat October 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

As someone who worked for DSS in two 10 year stretches before and after “reorganization”, DSS has been going downhill since the day it went in to the Cabinet system in the 90s.
Everything goes to hell when you have lazy ass Republican governors overseeing anything over 20 years and Jim Hodges’ 4 years were only minimally better.
But, he and David Beasley did at least appoint people with long term professional work with state welfare agencies or child welfare experience.
Sanford and Haley appointed political hacks (although Koller got limited experience in Hawaii and, based on her resume, should not have been appointed there.)
Republican governors are generally idiots and we all pay the price.

The Enquirer October 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

“As someone who worked for DSS in two 10 year stretches before and after “reorganization””

What did you do in between?

chaucer October 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

The Governor needs to do something about this before the death of these children become a noose around her re election efforts!

Slartibartfast October 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Is Joel Lourie wearing an off-the-rack suit? How embarrassing! If his father were alive, today……

Elizabeth October 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

It was not a case worker who stated she was concerned about the safety of our children. It was the DIrector of Richland County CASA. You lost a bit of crediblity there Mr. Fitts to make such an error. I appreciate Senator Lourie caring about our children and the other lawmakers too. Child fatalities should not be political. We should ALL be concerned.

Hopefulmominlexington October 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

As a mother that has had the unfortunate experience dealing with DSS, I find the caseworkers lacking in knowledge and compassion. The most vulnerable of our society, children, are being done a disservice by the SCDSS. While the caseworkers are placed in a position to protect our children from harm, neglect, and abuse…..they are doing quite the opposite. From my own personal experience, phone calls are rarely returned, family members and health care professionals actively involved with the child(ren) are not contacted, it is as if these caseworkers are trying to “make it go away”. While DSS is being investigated, take a look at the private guardian ad litems often assigned to these cases. Both of these entities make the victims and their families feel as though they have done something wrong or have made allegations up, statistically young children do not lie. I just want my children safe, the state of SC has not allowed me to keep them that way.

Trixie November 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

You think caseworkers with over 60 cases have TIME to return your calls??? Complain to your government. You are barking up the wrong tree.

snickering October 9, 2013 at 10:11 am

To tell the truth or know the truth. When dealing with any statement from a politician make sure you know whether you’re dealing with stupidity or corruption.

Advocate November 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm

As a caseworker of 10 years, I like many others over the past 2 years left. After we were made to make these stupid demeaning poster boards of WIG Goals and parade them around in front of Lillian and Isabel like a bunch of 3rd graders, showing our “positive outcomes” for the quarters, I went home and cried and resigned the next day. This is what it came to??!!!! I don’t have my children’s best interest at heart unless I am reminded everyday with a stupid “fun” poster board staring me in the face everyday? I need to have ” round table” meetings consisting of people composed by the state who have never laid eyes on my kids to cheerfully tell me I should have a placement option for a kid who has raped his sister and he shows no remorse (at no fault of his own, I am convinced). And for foster care review board (mostly old rich women in society clubs… And one who falls asleep most of the time) to say that adoption is possible for him, as if it is the easiest thing in the world. The only thing missing from those meetings is a big plantation house, ice lemonade, and a black serviceman to check on us every now and then. Makes me want to scream. Rich wanting to do for the poor and under privileged so they can sleep at night. Making decisions for children they have never laid eyes on or hear with their own ears. And I do not mean they are all like that, and some round tables have been better than others….
But seriously, let’s hire Koller and Blanco who are under investigation with their own dug hole and bring them to the dumping state. Good ol South Carolina!!! After all Blanco reduced foster care by 75%! Not because it was the right decision in all of those cases but because let’s face it, foster care costs a lot of money! Some foster parents get over $1000.00 a month for the therapeutic foster kids. Group homes, jeez, let’s not even talk about how much they cost a day. How do they reduce these numbers? Well…. Let’s change Medicaid and make it so unbelievably complicated, the good therapists say the hell with it and stop seeing foster kids and then make all the kids switch to the “Medicaid HMO” and call it….hmmmmm…. Quality care, yeah, that’s good. That is sure to screw up some services because then doctors with big egos will have to sign off for kids to have therapy and they will either say they don’t know enough about the the kid or they will assign them to a therapist they know who doesn’t accept Medicaid, or the new Medicaid. Either way, the doctor has made money off of the situation by seeing the kids for a useless or no referral. That way, kids will have to go to mental health for services, which are useless. The doctors, who are supposed to be educated are too scared their insurance will be used to prescribe anything other than ADHD meds, so the depressed kids can forget it. Or their caseworkers can lie to get them into an RTF where they will prescribe something other than ADHD meds so they can get the help they truly need, all the while being questioned by the state why they are in a placement that uses “full state” dollars, because that’s what is truly important……dollars. Then, the state will cut mental health funding and they will tell you that now they only see children who have a diagnosis other than ADHD…… You know, because there are TONS (zero) psychiatrists who see children and accept Medicaid. Pretty soon you are telling foster parents who have left you 10 messages, you no longer have services because the state doesn’t give a shit about the children’s emotional well being, or yours or mine for that matter. The child is disrupting, you say. Ohhhh……. Well according to Isabel and Lillian, children don’t disrupt. That is yours and my fault, they say. Children don’t disrupt. WE disrupt. Here, have some kool-aid, it’s what keeps me from getting fired.
So ding dong, the drunken DUI bitch is gone (that would be Isabel) so we can all hope things will get better. Nope. Turns out, the kool aid is meth and everyone in Columbia is addicted. They put Jessica in charge who had like a whole 4-6 ms of casework under her belt (who mainly talks up her exp. at a shelter). Business as usual. Reduce foster care by making poster boards, reducing starting salaries (they have no idea what hell they are walking into anyway), take away all services to frustrate foster parents, group homes, caseworkers and supervisors, so these kids will eventually meet a “positive outcome” out of sheer exhaustion of those on the front line. We don’t care about the percentage of those 75% in Georgia who came back into care or we’re hurt or killed. By God, we just want to see a “positive outcome” because it’s a “Wildly Important Goal”!!!!
The day I paraded that damn poster board around, smiling because my $900 bi-weekly paycheck counted on it (never changed over 10 yrs) is the same day I read the article that made me cry to the point I could give a shit about $900. It was about that baby that had its arm ripped off by a dog and the baby bled to death while his daddy was asleep. Months later it was about the baby’s sister, who was mauled by the family’s dog after just being reunified with this family from when he baby brother was killed by one of their dogs. Bet you she was counted as a “positive outcome.” Because it’s WILDLY IMPORTANT.
Peace to all of you still putting up the good fight!


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