SC

Blood On SCDSS’ Hands: An Update

MSM CONFIRMS OUR REPORTING ON CHILD “WELFARE” TRAGEDY This website has written exhaustively in recent years about problems at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – which is led by Lillian Koller, a political appointee of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. Haley loves Koller. In fact she’s repeatedly referred to…

MSM CONFIRMS OUR REPORTING ON CHILD “WELFARE” TRAGEDY

This website has written exhaustively in recent years about problems at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – which is led by Lillian Koller, a political appointee of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Haley loves Koller. In fact she’s repeatedly referred to her as a “rock star,” praising her earlier this year in the 2014 State of the State speech.

Well this “rock star” – who remains on a suspicious medical hiatus – has some serious questions to answer.

And no, we’re not talking about the costly, ongoing failure of this agency’s child support enforcement database – or the total lack of follow-through with regard to a food stamp waiver touted by Haley in her so-called “war on fat.” Nor are we referring to questionable consultant payments or allegations of cooked books at its “welfare to work” program (as well as its food stamp system).

Although any of those issues would be enough to call for Koller’s ouster …

We’re talking about something else, though. We’re talking about a very specific, exceedingly tragic reason why the Palmetto State ranks among the worst states for children in America: The case of Robert Guinyard, Jr.

On July 1, 2013, Guinyard – a four-year-old boy – was brutally murdered in his home by his own parents, 28-year-old Robert Antonio Guinyard and 25-year-old Courtney Shante Thompson.

The cause of death? Blunt force trauma to the head – although an autopsy revealed the child had suffered from a history of abuse.

Robert Guinyard, Jr.
ROBERT GUINYARD, JR.

One week after Guinyard’s death, FITS published a story quoting unnamed sources that made some pretty seismic allegations.

According to our sources, the boy “was placed in the home by the S.C. Department of Social Services.”

Not only that, SCDSS put Guinyard back into the home even though his mother explicitly said she didn’t want him – and even though a relative was attempting to gain custody of him.

“The aunt of the child was trying to get custody, but the child was beaten to death before that could happen,” a source close to the family
told us at the time.

This week, Columbia, S.C. television station WLTX TV 19 (CBS – Columbia, S.C.) published a report expanding on the culpability of South Carolina’s incompetent “welfare” agency – which received more than $655 million in the current year’s budget.

According to the station, Guinyard’s family members “witnessed incidents of abuse and reported them to DSS.”

After nothing happened, the boy’s aunt “called DSS 5 more times and visited the agency in person twice.”

Told she would need to provide proof of what happened, the aunt – Natalie Thompson – took pictures and provided them to the agency.

Still, nothing happened.

Unbelievable …

SCDSS’ response to its fatal mishandling of the Guinyard tragedy? More government, naturally – including a new “call intake center” and multiple additional training initiatives. Because no matter what the problem, additional bureaucracy and new taxpayer-funded programs is always South Carolina’s answer …

Never let a crisis go to waste, right?

In case you’re new here, there aren’t many things this website believes government should do – but enforcing laws against beat downs (especially beat downs of children) is clearly one of those things. This agency has failed miserably in doing that … and everything else it is tasked with doing.

UPDATE: Our post calling on Haley to do what she should have done years ago … fire Koller.

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35 comments

Inescapable Paradigm February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am

It’s interesting how the solution to government incompetence by those in government is more government.

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Will Folks aka Sic February 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

That’s always the answer, man.

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SCBlueWoman February 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

Republicans should know.

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euwe max February 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

I thought the answer was to elect ever more stupid representatives.

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Jackie Chiles February 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

Is ensuring children are protected from abusive parents a core government function?

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Uh huh February 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

It didn’t use to be. Some call it “progress”.

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Will Folks aka Sic February 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

Cops and courts are core functions that exist to protect central freedoms – life, liberty, property. Not being beaten to death clearly falls in that category. Personally, such a system ought to be run through the court system – not a welfare agency that does 1,000,000 other (mostly unnecessary) things.

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Smirks February 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

Have you seen SC’s court system?

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jimlewisowb February 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

Not a fan of the court system, not a fan of most law enforcement agencies

Relatives see and report possible abuse
Neighbors see and report possible abuse
Teachers see and report possible abuse
Medical personnel see and report possible abuse
Little to nothing is done
Media personnel see and report death by abuse

Somewhere in this process a system needs to be “carved out of current resources” that eliminates the current fragmentation of services that not only result in cases like this but in fact almost guarantees such incidents

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SCBlueWoman February 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

Kids in this state can be arrested if they run away from an abusive home and with all the cuts, there aren’t many places for them to safely go. The county I live in has 816 homeless children… that they know about. The courts and LE does not work for them. They can’t vote or give money.

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jimlewisowb February 25, 2014 at 10:01 am

Damn right it is

Is it a core function of government to dispatch a Deputy to your house at 3 AM in the morning because someone is breaking your door down – damn right it is

Just for the record if the Deputies don’t arrive in time let the son of a bitch get into the house then blow him away – if you blast happens to knock him out the house pull him back inside

Don’t have a problem with my tax dollars assisting innocent children who have no advocate

Have a goddamn big problem with my tax dollars going to those who are being paid to assist children and they spend their time fucking off

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john February 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Yes when the governor knows someone has a bad track record from another state…stop hiring you buddies so you can be reelected.

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miss suzanne February 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

What do you expect from leaders who don’t seem to give a damn about their OWN kids?

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County DSS Staff February 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

Although the problems @ DSS have been documented over the years, what is now happening to children and families here in SC is the direct result of Lillian Koller, Isabel Blanco, and Jessica Hanak-Coulter’s lack of accountability and poor management of the agency. Gov Haley hired these idiots obviously without doing any type of background checks. If so, she would have discovered their tainted histories in other states and agencies. Also, the Regional Directors (Reese, Whittaker, Brimmer, and Sturky) are nothing but “ass kissers” who have no experience dealing with Child Welfare issues and also carry with them immoral baggage that would make the citizens of SC sick to their stomachs. These managers are more concerned about “numbers” and “statistics” that they can manipulate and send over to Governor Haley’s office so she can sing their praises and make herself look good politically. They take no responsibility for the Agency and their answer is to blame County Staff and to fire County staff. They spend all of their time looking @ “numbers” and forcing County Offices to erect “scoreboards” and look @ children and families as numbers. They should be ashamed of themselves and more importantly they should be held accountable (along with Gov Haley) for these child fatalities and what is happening @ DSS offices across the state. “Appropriate Response” (sending abuse/neglect cases over to un-skilled private providers) should be done away with immediately! Gov Haley needs to wake up and terminate each and every one of these managers. Maybe they should give Counties the staff they need instead of hiring consultants, coaches, “regional” staff, and state office staff (to include girlfriends and relatives). The Senate hearings being held regarding DSS seem to show little progress in doing what is right for children and families in SC? The Senators should demand that Gov Haley immediately terminate of all of these managers. What is it going to take for the Gov’s office to finally acknowledge that Lillian Koller and her staff have been a disaster for children and families………….more deaths, more dedicated and experienced County employees resigning and/or being fired? This article and news report makes me sick to my stomach and something needs to be done and it needs to happen now!

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DSS EXPOSED February 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

@ County DSS Staff….I don’t know what County Office you are in but with all due respect, there are MORE THAN ENOUGH of the 21 year old child-less social workers here in Charleston County who don’t know their ass from a hole in the wall, much less can they read a police report accurately. My cat can investigate a mouse better than these incompetent jackasses. What good is more money thrown at more case workers if the ones you have in the first place can’t do their job because they are simply INCOMPETENT. You should read MY casefile….incorrect information, incomplete sentences, incorrect identifying information, hell they didn’t even get the child’s fathers’ birthday even close to correct much less try and notify him as they are required. It doesn’t take an IDIOT to figure out that if DSS had contacted him as they were supposed to, they would HAVE KNOWN what his friggin’ birthdate was instead of making up one to “put in the file” to make it LOOK LIKE they did their job!! And how do you misspell important information when there is spell check on every computer? I know how, it’s called INCOMPETENCE and I never even took a typing class. WTF is wrong with this state??
I will tell you what is wrong with this state. It’s called aristocracy instead of MERITOCRACY!!! Work based on MERIT….not on who you know or because you have a piece of shit piece of paper that says you have a degree and are SUPPOSED to know what you are doing even though you graduated with no common sense!! THESE should be the requirements….meritocracy and common sense. If you cannot do THAT, your ass has no business serving the public because you will only do harm to the rest of us and OUR kids with your ineptness.

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Be responsible February 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm

@ DSS exposed…………..spoken like a true child abuser. You said it all “my case file”. Never taking responsibility for your own actions, but blaming others. If you were not reported to DSS for your own actions, there would have never been an investigation. What does the father’s birthdate have to do with you abusing your child? WTF is wrong with you? Hurting innocent children! Quit having children if you cannot treat them properly……………or is your welfare check more important?

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idcydm February 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm

????

SMH

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DSS EXPOSED February 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I don’t get a “welfare check” you jackass. I never abused my son, he is always well taken care of. That doesn’t stop some psychopathic people like you from picking up a phone and making a phone call on someone because if YOU saw something wrong at my house, you are the type to not have any balls to come say something about it! No one named you GOD…..who the hell are you to be judging anybody? Are YOU perfect??? You don’t even freaking know me, so shut your piehole! You live in a glass house too, so don’t be throwing stones!!!

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been there February 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm

do you want people to believe the police and dss have a conspiracy against you? be serious and take responsibility for your actions. this is the first step to being a better parent.

DSS EXPOSED February 26, 2014 at 9:22 pm

People don’t have to “believe” anything as you eloquently put it….I KNOW the truth and I now have ALL the FACTS! And so does the Governor’s Office. THAT’S WHY Frank Oakley no longer is the Charleston County DSS Director. Google his name and post and courier. WHY is the legislature investigating DSS? BECAUSE……I have been communicating with the Governor’s office for over a year and I SENT her my PROOF in DOCUMENTS of exactly what DSS was doing, which was….in a nut shell….attempting to facilitate an adoption of MY SON to an infertile child-less couple who can’t adopt because her husband has quite a serious criminal record! And HOW did this Pam Coleman do this you ask??? She has a relative named Rhonda Coleman who conveniently works for CCDSS and who made sure Pam’s criminal husband was not added to court paperwork. This was done at the approval of CCDSS Supervisor, Elizabeth Linares. I have MULTIPLE email documentation to these facts and Pam’s intention to get custody and adopt my son. WHO are these people??? They were former neighbors who befriended me and my son. I moved 35 miles away and they CONTINUE to involve themselves in our life! 12 times this woman has called on me with false allegations. It took me 7 years before DSS would even give me a copy of my file. THAT IS ILLEGAL. But now I know why and they are being investigated by the FBI.
Have a nice day.

john February 27, 2014 at 5:01 am

Nikki Haley would never have the legislature to investigate DSS. They are being investigated after the termination of Linda Martin who was appointed into her position by the Senate Subcommittee. If you read the post and courier careful Frank was terminated because he had a back bone wouldn’t KISS ASS. we a report is made you must ask on it. My family and I knows this personal.

county dss staff February 27, 2014 at 9:48 am

Your response is a joke! If you think you got anyone fired you are sadly mistaken. Mr. Oakley was fired because he would not put up with the BS from his managers in Columbia. This is common knowledge state-wide.

The Truth! March 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

Not sure who wrote this comment, but I am a relative of Rhonda Coleman and we don’t know a Pam Coleman or related in anyway. And if you knew Rhonda Coleman and what she does at DSS, you will know that she does not work in Child Protective Services or Adoptions and has nothing to do with court. So get your fact straight when you start posting garbage.

DSS EXPOSED March 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

I have the FACTS…..I have an email from Rhonda in FI to Paige Hanson stating…”Please see me before documenting Anything else in PATS” PATS stands for Placement and Treatment Services. DSS was INTENTIONALLY coving up the fact that Pam Coleman’s husband John has quite a serious criminal history which made them INELIGIBLE for FI and for being a foster placement. So somebody needs to start explaining how DSS covered this up, and put my son with criminals and guess who made phone calls to DSS? Pam Coleman……all a bunch of lies because this woman cant have any children. They are infertile and cant adopt!!!

nitrat February 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

You used to have to pass the Budget and Control Board’s Merit System test to get a job with DSS. That ended 20+ years ago with ‘reorganization’ and the Cabinet system.
How a state can be proud of replacing a civil service meritocracy with cronyism is beyond me.

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concerned February 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Nothing would make me happier than to see Jessica and Whittaker following Koller out the door. Then start at the county offices were they hired ass kissing Directors that have no idea what their doing and will do anything to keep their job…and I do mean anything.

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nitrat February 26, 2014 at 6:05 am

” “Appropriate Response” (sending abuse/neglect cases over to un-skilled private providers) should be done away with immediately. ”
Yes, but this is the privatization of government services, i.e., GOP crony capitalism and MUST be good.
Would be fascinating to see where the campaign contributions of CEOs of these ‘non-profits’ go.

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idcydm February 25, 2014 at 10:50 am

There defiantly needs to be an overhaul at DSS, from top to bottom, from “looking @ numbers” to staff posting on government time.

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Protect the Children February 25, 2014 at 11:12 am

DSS case workers are managed at the county level, and reporting to the main office is done county-by-county. The average annual county report is twenty to forty pages long.

Thus, “senior management” has over 800 pages of mind-numbing statistics and self-serving explanations composed by 43 staffers bent on maintaining their jobs.

How many of you think the Executive Director, the Governor — or ANYONE — reads these reports?

This is one sick puppy. The governor has had plenty of time to address this badly-managed agency. Shame on her for letting it get to the point that a Senate subcommittee has to do the investigating and overhaul for her.

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dastar February 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm

What do you expect from a Guv whose sister sells her house, takes her kids out of school and lives in a bus?

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nitrat February 26, 2014 at 5:50 am

Don’t we have 46 counties?

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nitrat February 26, 2014 at 5:47 am

Gee…my post about the USC Center for Child and Family Studies, and how they train each and every DSS employee how to do their jobs since Lillian fired DSS Staff Development and training early in her reign, has totally disappeared.
Go to the site and see how many of its employees are DSS trainers and QA auditors. Is this boondoggle going to face any accountability?

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john February 27, 2014 at 5:13 am

You left out Winthrop they also do the same.

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feeling ill February 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

Did anyone happen to see the interview with Jessica Hanak-Coulter on Channel 19? Just like her, her regional directors, and Koller to blame others (in this case law enforcement) and accept no responsibility for this child’s death? A direct result of their “appropriate response” initiative. How can she sit there with that smirk on her face and discuss this child’s death and take no responsibility. These people are sickening and need to fired ASAP!

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