SC

SCDSS Audit: Damning Conclusions

SOURCES: REPORT EXPOSES AGENCY’S INCOMPETENCE IN CHILD WELFARE CASES By FITSNEWS  ||  The child welfare division of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s much-maligned Department of Social Service (SCDSS) has a poorly trained, unqualified workforce dealing with excessive caseloads, bad data and incomplete reporting. The agency has also manipulated screening procedures for…

SOURCES: REPORT EXPOSES AGENCY’S INCOMPETENCE IN CHILD WELFARE CASES

By FITSNEWS  ||  The child welfare division of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s much-maligned Department of Social Service (SCDSS) has a poorly trained, unqualified workforce dealing with excessive caseloads, bad data and incomplete reporting.

The agency has also manipulated screening procedures for child abuse and neglect investigations – “reforms” that have unnecessarily placed children’s lives in danger.

As a result of these (and many other) problems, SCDSS is making terrible decisions that are directly resulting in the unnecessary abuse and death of far too many South Carolina children.

Not a pretty picture, huh?

Don’t take our word for it though. These are said to be among the sobering conclusions of an audit scheduled to be released this week – select particulars of which were leaked in advance to FITS by sources familiar with the document.

One source who spoke with FITS on condition of the anonymity said the audit “highlights everything everyone already knows is wrong with this agency – yet no one will fix.”

One glaring statistic reportedly contained in the report?

From 2009-2013, at least 152 “violent, unexpected, and unexplained” child fatalities took place in South Carolina that were never included in the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) database used by SCDSS.

Talk about an especially egregious example of “faking it till you make it.”

Additionally, from FY 2010-11 through FY 2012-13, the number of children who were “screened out” by SCDSS – yet later became victims of abuse or neglect – reportedly skyrocketed by 114 percent (from 1,173 to 2,508).

Our sources say this is due to revised screening procedures that attempted to minimize the true extent of abuse and neglect in South Carolina – only to wind up “placing (children) at greater risk.”

Apparently many of the children whose families were placed in this “low risk” screening program should have been routed into proper investigations.

Here are the top line findings of the audit, according to our sources …

  • DSS has not ensured that its workforce is well-qualified and compensated competitively when compared with similar positions in South Carolina and other states.
  • South Carolina has child welfare caseloads that are excessive and inequitable from county to county.
  • There is not an adequate system for screening, investigation, treatment, and placement of children in safe homes when abuse and neglect are reported.
  • Data on child maltreatment deaths, particularly those with prior DSS involvement, is not reliable and should not be used as a measure of agency performance.
  • Not all violent, unexpected, and unexplained child fatalities are being reported and reviewed, as required by law.

Obviously we have yet to receive a copy of the final report – and will be providing much more comprehensive information regarding its findings once that document has been released to the public.

As we’ve been noting for the last few years, SCDSS has been an unmitigated disaster since Haley took office in 2011 – most notably as it relates to these instances in which vulnerable children were repeatedly placed in abusive homes.

Beyond that, there’s the agency’s ongoing failure with regard to the state’s child support enforcement database – or its total lack of follow-through regarding a food stamp waiver touted by Haley in her so-called “war on fat.” There are also questionable consultant payments and allegations of cooked books at its “welfare to work” program (as well as its food stamp system).

(For a recent report detailing one of these scams, CLICK HERE).

Sadly, this audit only touches on the agency’s child welfare issues …

Haley’s response to the damning SCDSS audit? Easy: Her agency leaked a hit piece to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier attempting to attack the integrity of S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne – the lawmaker who initially requested the review of the agency nearly two years ago.

That’s sad … but not surprising. Haley previously attacked her longtime ally S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy after it became clear Shealy wasn’t going to toe the governor’s line and support her former SCDSS director Lillian Koller.

Koller resigned her post in June … months after the state’s mainstream media finally caught up to our reporting on the myriad of scandals at SCDSS.

RAPID REACTION

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61 comments

Col Flagg Sheshitter (4077th) October 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm

DSS is a governmental agency that is staffed by 90% Dems and Obama voters-in ANY state. Director’s, case managers, social workers etc….DEMS!

Dems love abortion…why should they care about the well-being of those they are entrusted to care for after they are born?

Nikki is trying to clean this culture of despair and death up. Let’s see if the racists and dividers like Sheheen want to contribute or if the “flag” issue is more important than the children in the state.

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Sad October 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm

This is a cabinet agency, Nikki Haley controlled it from the top down. She hand picked her “rock star” Koller and then defended her and I would imagine is going to defend her even after this audit gains traction.

Sad indeed, but to hear Haley tell it nothing is ever her fault.

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robert e. sheeshitt October 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Traction? Vinny Sheheen and the dems have figured out the DSS “non-scandel’ they created and spent millions on televison lying about Haley this summer, FAILED!!!!

Why Vinny the racist is playing the race card on the voters of SC in regards to the Confederate Flag.

Damn you fuckin people are stupid if you can’t figure out the SCDP never gave a damn about the children-and threw em overboard for the Confederate Flag when they figured out the DSS issue was a loser for em.

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FastEddy23 October 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Sounds like a truly entertaining pissing match … to bad it’s for real taxpayer money.

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Melanie October 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

Come on, were talking dead children here. This goes a little beyond Democrat/Republican politics. Have some care here.

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Smirks October 3, 2014 at 8:15 am

This goes a little beyond Democrat/Republican politics.

Not if you’re paid to comment otherwise.

dems are evil October 3, 2014 at 9:26 am

Fuck you.Call Planned Parenthood and have some “care”.

Born at Night, Not Last Night October 2, 2014 at 8:33 pm

You ignorant bastard, the Indian Princess owns this debacle just as Obama owns the effing mess he has magnified in the Middle East.

I for one am tired of the deflection of responsibility of both pretenders and ready for someone to own their problems. Hell, I can accept failure with ownership. I just can’t accept denial.

And for the record…..go eff yourself GT, SCPDG, or whoever the hell you are at the moment.

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FastEddy23 October 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

… make that EVERY state.

You guys have “none of the above” on your ballots, right?

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ScrewedNSC October 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm

This is Nikki’s agency. She has been in charge of it for four years. The governor is responsible for everything that happened on her watch. She appointed the person who runs this agency. As we all know this agency has been a disaster. There is no excuse for what has occurred to these vulnerable children. Some people will say that it’s the Democrats fault, but it is the fault of the governor for not fixing the situation. I ask again what has Nikki Haley done to deserve reelection?

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dems n dumber October 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

I was in South Carolina several weeks this summer. From Greenville to Myrtle Beach to Charleston to Latta to EVERY FUCKIN where in the state…during DR.Phil, young and restless,bold and beautiful and the price is right all me and the old lady saw were SCDP ads about DSS and Haley. They were lies and the voters know that.Some of em made the grandchildren cry.

The SCDP might as well start their KKK ads about republicans cause the DSS ads helped elect Haley.

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Smirks October 3, 2014 at 8:04 am

Try harder, Sandi.

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benedict ervin & col.flagg October 3, 2014 at 9:21 am

Why? Sandi already won.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

12 years of Sanford/Haley have done immeasurable damage to the protection of children AND vulnerable adults in this state.
All because of the hacks Sanford/Haley have appointed to head DSS and the other connected agencies in the Office of the Governor.

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sanctity of life not 4 dems October 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

Vulnerable children and adults? Last time I checked Haley and Sanford were pro-life and against Obamacare.

Translation for an idiot: they vote to protect the most vulnerable (in the womb) children and against the”death panels” for the elderly and handicapped that are in Obamacare.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

Thanks for explaining something all THINKING people understand: to the once GOP, actual living, air-breathing, walking the planet people mean nothing compared to a fetus.
And, the once GOP lie like rugs.

fat and happy on the dem dole October 3, 2014 at 10:14 am

Who do you think subsidizes the perpetual welfare rolls in SC and provides the free housing and food stamps for dem voters and free health insurance for their children? The GOP voters! We care and you don’t even have to work! :-)

sanctity of life not 4 dems October 3, 2014 at 9:55 am

Vulnerable children and adults? Last time I checked Haley and Sanford were pro-life and against Obamacare.

Translation for an idiot: they vote to protect the most vulnerable (in the womb) children and against the”death panels” for the elderly and handicapped that are in Obamacare.

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Rememeber October 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm

What Haley thinks of Koller –

“Haley, who has supported Koller, continued to defend her in a statement she released after the news:

“Under (Koller’s) leadership, DSS closed a $28 million deficit, moved more than 20,000 South Carolinians from welfare-to-work, and has done wonders to improve our foster care system, placing more South Carolina children in stable, healthy families,” Haley said in a statement released by her office.

“Today, as she has every day since coming to South Carolina, Lillian has put the well-being of the children of our state above her own,” Haley continued. “We have been lucky to have her, and I will continue to be proud of Lillian, the work she’s done at DSS, and most of all, that I can call her my friend.”

http://www.thestate.com/2014/06/02/3482949_dss-chief-lillian-koller-resigns.html

Remind yourself of these statements made by Haley when FITS covers the audit in detail.

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basketball jones October 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm

The SCDP spent millions this summer running ads about DSS and Haley, trying to destroy her. The ads backfired and why Sheheen has decided to revisit the Civil War in 2014.

I see Hilary is in Florida tonight for a $50,000 a plate,CLOSED fundraiser for fellow Tom Ervin “traitor”, Charlie Crist. Wonder when Hillary is coming to help Vinny and Tom? LMAO!!!!!!!

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a face in the crowd October 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Please tell us what “backfiring” means. Did the ads actually cause people against Haley to suddenly decide to vote for her?

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The Colonel October 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

No, all of his ads were so factually challenged that they made Vince look like a liar. Had he stuck with the facts, he could have actually created some traction.

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a face in the crowd October 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm

The woman who had served as a child advocate since 1977 was factually challenged?

ReElect Nikki October 2, 2014 at 10:37 pm

The Colonel is one of the Governors biggest supporters and we appreciate him!

The Colonel October 2, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Hardly her biggest supporter, I see her simply as the lesser of the evils.

SCBlues October 3, 2014 at 12:26 am

“Hardly her biggest supporter, I see her simply as the lesser of the evils”
You’re blind and/or don’t understand the meaning of evil.

scfeminut October 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

One just has to read your blovations and evil becomes very clear.

nitrat October 3, 2014 at 8:55 am

It is truly amazing that someone can be a worse campaigner the second time they run for the office. But, he has done it.

Dan October 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Crazy batshit Sandy Moraless shut the hell up.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 8:54 am

Don’t wait for FITS to tell you about it.
Read it yourself when it’s up on the site.
He’s got his agenda to promote.
Go for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, not spin.

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Centrist View October 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Listing of approximately 5,000 undelivered child support checks. Check it out. You might see someone on the list you know.

http://www.state.sc.us/dss/csed/abandprop.htm

Unclaimed Child Support Funds List
The Integrated Child Support Services Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services is trying to locate the following people. We are holding funds that were returned to us as “undeliverable” by the U.S. Postal Service. All other attempts to locate these people have failed.

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FastEddy23 October 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

???? … Holy Cow. Don’t tell the state legislature or they will find something else to spend it on.

Is that monthly support checks? Will the state and/or counties continue to authorize more checks?

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Grover October 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Thats why they announced 10% raises for staff today. Damage control for Nikki Haley before the election. Sickening they sacraficed all those kids for political gain and now multiple lawsuits filed…Haley has cost the taxpayers so much money

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RonFingBurgandy October 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

…and trust me, that’s all the changes that will be made. The LAC is known for certain things (taking years to finish a project that should have taken a few months being one of those things), but I can’t remember the last time an LAC audit had any affect with the exception of the Employment Security Commission audit they did a few years ago. Like this article said, they basically took two years to tell us what we all already know.

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BillBrasky October 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

The report is the biggest yawn-fest I’ve ever read and I can’t believe it took the LAC two f’ing years to come up with that. Just pathetic.

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Don October 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Joel Lourie has known about this since 2006 and has done nothing. Now hs gables endlessly. making political points and raising money on the backs of deal kids.
Nice…

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FastEddy23 October 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Betting again: How many undocumented immegrant minors does the state have to subsidize? How many are sick with that “mystery” virus? How many are in your schools, right now? I’m betting that The Governor put her full support behind the fed dumping of illegals in your state.

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Question October 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm

What? You think?

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HD October 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Interesting that Folks finds this audit credible but those of the Retirement System Investment Commission not credible.

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Oreos October 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

He’s a hypocrite. With all the probing going on, I feel sure all of his phone activities , emails, web surfing, conversations outside and in out of the way places being monitored by the feds. Its a good way to uncover who is leaking out information and what they know. Its not too bright to brag about it right out in the open, ya know?

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Smirks October 3, 2014 at 8:12 am

That’s why you leak word-of-mouth in an inconspicuous location.

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Entire SC Messed Up October 3, 2014 at 6:41 am

What has been removed from the audit report? We all know state officials have talked about doing that. Its just how it is. Like court transcripts and court orders being lost at the clerk of court’s office and by court reporters (a State News report from yesterday). Even court reporter records on file being destroyed a few days after being requested for appeals. South Carolina appears to have a very serious and alarming corruption problem. A 10% raised to put them in line with the highest paying state in the nation? Come on now. For South Carolina, government employees received fare wages when you look at the private sectors. This is bullshit.
Why is this site removing comments?

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Manray October 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

DSS works for Haley, so what will be the fall-out? In SC, it’s reelection.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 9:12 am Reply
For Your Eyes Only October 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

I want to see the original report. Not a doctored one.

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raise the flag October 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

Who cares? Nobody.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

Nikki’s staff : comments like that from you scum look really, really bad…and, who the hell else would they be coming from?
This is about DEAD CHILDREN!
Of course, dead children are no big deal in the overpopulated cesspool of India.

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nitnut bates October 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

Nobody cares.Sheheen and the SCDP proved that by making removing the Confederate Flag the number 1 priority in his campaign-the so called “October” surprise.

The SCDP spent millions on the DSS ads attacking Haley this summer. Her poll numbers went up and whySheheen has, in desperation, decided to fight the Civil War all over again.

The deaths of the children are tragic however Haley is no more responsible for the death of those children than Obama is for the hundreds of children murdered in Chicago every year.

Conservative voters understand personal responsibility…to bad libs don’t.

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nitrat October 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

Nikki Haley is one step removed from her personally appointed DSS state director. No more than about 3-4 steps removed from her at-will county directors.
Only a simple minded CON-servative would think that kind of direct chain of command is analogous in any way to anything between Obama and murdered children in Chicago.
Duuuh.

nitrat October 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

Nikki Haley is one step removed from her personally appointed DSS state director. No more than about 3-4 steps removed from her at-will county directors.
Only a simple minded CON-servative would think that kind of direct chain of command is analogous in any way to anything between Obama and murdered children in Chicago.
Duuuh.

operation flag drop October 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

Nobody cares.Get rid of the Confederate Flag. That will improve the life of every South Carolinian.
The leftist clowns strike again with nitnut leading the choir of defeat!

operation flag drop October 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

How many steps away from the case managers and social workers handling these cases? 8 or 9 steps in the chain of command?

Why the DSS ads didn’t work in the summer. You got a better chance with the Confederate Flag issue in regards to votes-gin up the faithful with free cigs and booze….toss in a few Obama phones and I see Sheheen @ 40%.

Pam October 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Not Joel Lourie. That bastard has hung out in the Senate for the last 15 hers while kids were raped, money pissed down the drain, and kids were dying.

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Thomas October 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

Why “scoop” the Establishment Media during Happy Hour garnering drunken sots to comment? Why not “scoop” the big story in the AM to get maximum clicks? Unless by design, besotted comments drive away the registered voters and drives down the participation rate.

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stick with flag issue October 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

So I assume you would be okay with the governor closing all the Planned Parenthood’s in the state-in order to protect the children from the” meat grinder”?

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Tunes'n'News October 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

Spot on re: the screening issues. Also, choosing relative placements where the relatives are not suitable is another big problem.

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Disgusted October 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

I wrote WIS and WLTX and the state paper many times when things were atrocious and I was a worker at DSS. The media never responded and didn’t care. But now they care now that there are headlines. They should have investigated this way back when. Children could have been saved if people cared when it was needed.

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shame on you October 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

So you sat around and let your co-workers do this?

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Pam October 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Joel Lourie was at the gym, watching TV, or raising political money while DSS burned. Now he is a hero because he weighs in after the fact.

Joel, instead of taking victory laps, why don’t you visit the graves of the kids that died over the last 15 years?

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Why Didn't YOU? October 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Ijjit

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Pam October 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Where was Joel Lourie for the LAST 15 YEARS??? These Senators do nothing while bad things happen, then are heroes when they weigh in after the fact.

Joel. kids were dying while you watched football on your big screen TV!

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