SC

SCDSS: “The Damage Continues”

AGENCY’S NEW “LEADERSHIP” ALREADY UNDER FIRE …  The more things change, the more they stay the same … at least as far as S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s cabinet is concerned. Embattled S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) director Lillian Koller is gone … but the agency she left behind is…

AGENCY’S NEW “LEADERSHIP” ALREADY UNDER FIRE … 

The more things change, the more they stay the same … at least as far as S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s cabinet is concerned.

Embattled S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) director Lillian Koller is gone … but the agency she left behind is up to its old tricks (including an alleged snooping campaign against members of the S.C. General Assembly).  Koller resigned last month amid a flood of scandals – including allegations of manipulated data in its child welfare, food stamp and welfare-to-work divisions.

Most of those scandals broke exclusively here on FITS …

So what’s happened in the wake of Koller’s departure?  Not much.

Sources at the agency – and within the S.C. General Assembly – have confirmed to FITS that SCDSS’ senior leadership is working overtime to identify which employees are providing lawmakers with information.

Wait … what?

This agency just lost its top official to scandal … and its leaders are already back to the same cover-up crap that led to her ouster?

“(SCDSS) staff are under scrutiny by upper management for speaking out,” one of our sources reveals. “Some upper management in DSS county offices have been checking into Facebook friend lists.”

Who are they looking for?

“Senators on the DSS oversight committee,” our source says, calling the agency’s effort “a desperate attempt to find out which employees had the audacity to speak out about caseload sizes and pressure from state office, regional and upper managers to meet goals at all costs.”

“Lillian is gone but her directives continue,” the source added, pinning the blame for the snooping campaign on Amber Gillum – who was tapped by Haley to serve as the agency’s acting director.

FITS spoke with several lawmakers who are “outraged” over the agency’s efforts to snoop on them.

“That agency’s new leadership is in deep sh*t,” one S.C. Senator told FITS. “They’re just as bad as Lillian.  Her crew is still there and the damage continues.”

Stay tuned …

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59 comments

neighbor July 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

So let’s start with this little story. There is a little boy named Noah Tedder. Noah has lived with his elderly grandma Tedder because his mom was unfit. You know like dom. violence issues. Anyway, the courts placed Noah with the grandma. She is on a fixed income, and there isn’t money for much. The mom, Brittany Tedder has been recieving child support from the father, but none goes to Noah. The support belongs to the guardian. Mom is having a good ole time while Noah goes without. This was reported more than once to DSS, but to no avail. Next time you think about all you have, remember little Noah and the DSS who is not there for him.

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Tunes'n'News July 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

DSS always wants to do relative placements because it’s cheaper and generally resolves easier than a foster/adoption/TPR situation.

Relative placements are often bad. And DSS often does not investigate the relatives and those living and/or present in the homes enough (bad apples don’t fall far from their bad trees) because DSS is so eager to push the kids there. That’s part of the numbers game they play.

The agency simply does not have enough employees to do the job it has to with the number of kids in the system. And because it is such a soul crushing place to work, many good people leave quickly. And then management has for years now taken the wrong approaches to solving the problems, viewing it as a numbers game and now a childcare crisis and a dysfunctional agency full of employee and leader problems crisis.

Glad to see light shed on it, but unfortunately when it happens by way of contested election, it’ll make the GOP losers push back harder saying they’ve got it under control, things are improving. Political, not pragmatic or useful in any way.

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Karolyn July 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

I know a case of an abused little boy that has been reported to DSS repeatedly, and nothing has ever been done because the parents have relatives who work there. So sad.

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Faye July 18, 2014 at 12:02 am

I called DSS yesterday for the first time in my life. I had family evicted both parents are strung out on drugs,husband beats his wife, the son is getting in trouble in school for hitting girls.The 7 yr old daughter dress innaporiate and filthy.The rental place is bug infested, what very little food they had was rotting in refrigerator filled with bugs and mold. And yet they tell me the (DSS) will not take this case. Since when do they get to choose which children can get help.? This is wrong on so many levels.If I walk out my door and grab up a kid in my neighborhood and shake them my butt is going straight to jail no choice about it.I understand caseload are maxed out how ever we should never turn away help for children when people call to report a issues. Train and hire more staff these are our children and our future.

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Karolyn July 18, 2014 at 6:37 am

I’d go higher up. Maybe call the newspaper. This is a travesty.

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beenthere July 16, 2014 at 4:49 pm

same old Koller cronies @ DSS. Get rid of them all along with Office of General Counsel.

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Thomas July 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm

The GA in general, the General DSS Oversight Subcommittee specifically are incapable of a cogent thought outside their sphere to influence their pay scales, benefit packages, and legislate “gotcha” laws towards their perceived enemies.

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beenthere July 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm

When will you and your Koller cronies finally understand it is about children and families. You were probably hired by Koller in some capacity @ DSS. Hope you lose your job real soon with the rest of those idiots.

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Thomas July 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm

When you acknowledge Kohler’s specialty of finding homes for foster children shacked up in frightening and deplorably underfunded state custody, then we can discuss how the GA is at fault for problems in DSS by ignoring county bureaucratic islands of upper management more interested in getting vested in an unsustainable retirement scam before the bond market implodes destroying the 25 billion the SCRS invested in “alternative” spelled d-e-r-i-v-a-t-i-v-e-s investment pools.

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concerned July 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm

I think some criminal indictments are well deserved for this bunch…Jessica..Malick and the rest can’t wait to see your azz out the door. Time has come to end the bullying, fear tactics, threats, lying and hold you accountable for your actions.

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Squishy123 July 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Does any other state have a DSS as large and complex as SC?

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nitrat July 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Even when they don’t handle TANF and SNAP and are just child welfare, they are killing kids all over the country.
They need to stop listening to the Annie B. Casey Foundation that every child is better off with their abusive family.

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RogueElephant July 17, 2014 at 9:12 am

As to what alternative ? Putting then with abusive foster families ? I had a neighbor who tried foster care till the “rules” made it impossible for her to continue. Fine family but the system made it too hard on her own children.

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Hannah July 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm

The disgusting abuse of power by Haley continues. I am sure gave directives to her staff to order all management to block employees from talking to the lawmakers.

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Riddle me this... July 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Can anyone tell me why the SC Legislative Audit Council started their audit of DSS over a year and a half ago and have nothing to show for it? How many more kids have died in DSS care since the LAC started its audit? Better yet, why are tax dollars going to an agency that can’t seem to fulfill its one mission: to complete and release timely audit reports?

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nitrat July 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Mallory Factor, GOP bundler extraordinaire, is now on the SCLAC board.
His job is to cover up for Haley no doubt.

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namelessperson July 17, 2014 at 6:39 am

They can but they won’t because of all the behind the scenes financial corruption going on at DSS.

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The past is prologue July 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

As someone who has been familiar with the LAC for over a decade, I can tell you that they have almost always been late with their reports (and Mallory Factor has been on the council for some time). That being said, I don’t know Perry Simpson very well, but since he’s taken over the LAC, all of their reports have taken so long that many question what he’s doing over there and why he was made Director in the first place. It’s gotten to the point that the legislature can’t use their reports anymore because the news stations do their own reports and (as we’ve seen with the DSS oversight subcommittee) the legislators are just forming special committees and asking for the info themselves. I know the LAC used to serve a purpose, but between the Inspector General (who does not take 1-2 years to release a report), the special subcommittees, and legislative staffers, I have to question why the LAC is still being funded when we could give that money to the IG or, hell, better roads????

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What? July 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

I gotta be honest. Up until now, I had no idea the LAC even existed. After looking at their website and reading about what they are supposed to do, I can’t believe the legislature hasn’t stripped their funding for taking over a year to complete a single audit. Wait, yes I can.

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Deo Vindice SC July 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Rocket Science 101, when you can investigate your own mistakes, they don’t exist !

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nitrat July 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Any DSS employee who does their whistleblowing via Facebook deserves to get fired.
That is not the SCDSS building at the corner of Confederate and Bull.

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pfunk July 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

Finally someone points this out. FITS, for some reason, always shows a picture of the SC Dept of Mental Health Central Office building when talking about DSS. DSS is next door…

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beenthere July 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

Where do you suggest they take their complaints regarding harm to children and families due to current management practices? Where do they take their complaints regarding being subjected to a hostile work environment and constant harassment from Columbia and Regional Directors? If they complain publically they are fired or demoted.

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nitrat July 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

They do not have to communicate over social media!
When I did my whistleblowing, I wrote and printed out an old fashioned letter and put it in the US mail!

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Slartibartfast July 17, 2014 at 2:31 am

Why are our Churches and Humanitarian Charities not handling these situations? The government robs us in the form of taxes so dearly, that we do not have the cash to do it voluntarily

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namelessperson July 17, 2014 at 6:43 am

DSS is the most fcking corrupt agency in SC. Not only that, but most DSS workers are borderline retarded, as can easily be seen after engaging in no more 2 minutes max of conversation with 1 of their workers. It’s a also a very easy job to get in this state…not much education or training time required before you can be certified.

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Karolyn July 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

I’ve heard stories from inside one DSS office where workers who are supposed to check on the elderly and infirm pull into the driveway and beep the horn instead of going into the house for a proper assessment. What I heard from this person is that many of these workers have been with DSS for so long, they are jaded and just want to collect their cushy benefits and paychecks. I am not saying all, but this does go on; and they apparently answer to no one.

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concerned July 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

They do the same thing with CPS visits in our county. Someone needs to go into these county offices and clean house. Especially now with the
seasoned Directors pused out and replaced with the unqualified.

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RogueElephant July 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

True. But who would want the job of dragging children away from their families in the middle of the night and all the crap that goes with it ? Someone that couldn’t get any kind of other job most likely.

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namelessperson July 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm

actually you be surprised…some get a power trip from it

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RogueElephant July 19, 2014 at 8:29 am

You are probably right with the power trip. Especially with a double digit IQ to go along with it. It lets them be “in charge” for a time. Kinda like a drug high.

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RogueElephant July 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

True. But who would want the job of dragging children away from their families in the middle of the night and all the crap that goes with it ? Someone that couldn’t get any kind of other job most likely.

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RogueElephant July 17, 2014 at 7:42 am

Sounds like the top three or four levels of “mgt.” needs the axe. Good start any way.

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GrandTango July 17, 2014 at 8:03 am

I’d say the anti-family stance of Democrats and their attacks on morality, lead more to child abuse and neglect, than not enough government workers at DSS.

This article does a GREAT job explaining Sheheen’s predicament: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/2014/07/sheheen-needs-magic-pill-grasps-at.html.

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Steve July 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

By anti-family stance of Democrats, you mean their support of social programs to keep families from becoming homeless, from starving to death, things of that nature?

Or do you mean, because Democrats don’t try to shove their religion and “family values” which include adultery, prostitutes, drug use (apparently) down everyones’ throats? Just checking.

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RogueElephant July 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

By anti-family he means the marginalizing of fathers that has been going on since the start of the Great Society. Just check that.

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GrandTango July 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

Exactly R.E. And the easy-divorce laws, and general immorality that tempts and tears up families, too, supported by the left.

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D-I-V-O-R-C-E July 17, 2014 at 11:34 am

South Carolina has some of the hardest divorce laws in the country and the only purpose they serve is to enrich lawyers and keep dysfunctional and abusive households together longer.

GrandTango July 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

Thank you for supporting my point.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E July 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

So you enjoy seeing women and children, beaten, abused, and murdered? God forbid we don’t feed the lawyer beast.

Newt July 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

GT’s such a stupid piece of shit.

RogueElephant July 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

You are dead on right there. The lawyers are the ONLY people who win in any divorce case.

Newt July 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!

Deo Vindice SC July 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

ybe

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Ed July 17, 2014 at 8:13 am Reply
Torch July 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

How quickly your forget, this is a cabinet agency and does what Tricky Nikki tells them to do. Nikki’s minions creep around in the dark. Might want to check the IT director to see how the snooping is being done.

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SCBlueWoman July 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

In a state where kids become a criminal if they run away from an abusive home, what more do you expect. As a couple of legislators told me, “kids don’t vote.” It’s an absolute shame that kids (and women) are still considered property here.

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Frank July 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

Until Haley is out of office this state is so screwed.

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Siamese July 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Basically same thing is happening at DHEC…different crew but all orchestrated by Nikki

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Siamese July 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Basically same thing is happening at DHEC…different crew but all orchestrated by Nikki

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sadstateofSC July 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm

…and also at SCDEW. Cheryl Stanton bullies her staff to bully the regional WIAs. If they don’t do her bidding, she sics her audit teams on them to punish them. A previous state audit has declared this situation to be a conflict of interest but the bullying continues with no real oversight by the spineless state workforce board. Sad. Seems to be a pattern with Nikki’s cabinet agencies.

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lotsofrookieshere July 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Gee, and both of these out of control agencies are run by female attornies, from firms which donated heavily to da Gubna, and had no preious experience running anything. Hmmmm. anyone see a pattern here?

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idiotwind July 17, 2014 at 9:51 am

this is great work. makes reading Fits worthwhile.

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Slartibartfast July 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Gigantic salaries at the top, miniscule salaries for the boots on the ground. What could possibly go wrong?

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nitrat July 17, 2014 at 2:19 pm

You really don’t have a clue about what child and adult protective services entail, do you?

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Slartibartfast July 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Intimately involved. Nothing I have said is untrue. The only thing that can be argued is my opinion of the worthlessness of government, which, I would have thought someone of your intellect would see prima faciae.

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you know me July 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

I get the idea that Nikki is not really a person who cares for kids. Ditto for this Amber woman.

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Chaos July 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Jessica is now running Human Services and she doesn’t have the knowledge base to do so, although she has plenty of attitude and is very vindictive!!! Her cousin Tina who has worked for her now works for the interim State Director as executive assistant, she does not know Human Service policy and procedures and neither does the State Director. These women all have plenty of attitude and are trying to seek revenge on employees, whether they know Legislators or not…

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concerned July 18, 2014 at 7:36 am

Lets just hope when the dust settles they are following Koller out the door. They have either run off the seasoned veterans or fired them. I never in my life seen such a wicked bunch…and still conducting business as usual.

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