WTF Is Palmetto State’s “Child Welfare” Agency Doing?

MISMANAGEMENT AT S.C. DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES IS ONCE AGAIN ENDANGERING CHILDREN || By FITSNEWS || Late Friday afternoon, the scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) announced a major policy change involving the placement of at-risk children (you know … the children it’s been systematically failing for years) into…


|| By FITSNEWS || Late Friday afternoon, the scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) announced a major policy change involving the placement of at-risk children (you know … the children it’s been systematically failing for years) into group home settings.

In an email sent after 6:00 p.m. EDT, the agency informed the state’s network of group care facilities of a new bounty system intended to facilitate “mandatory acceptance” of children requiring “emergency placement.”

Providers refer to it as the “no eject, no reject” rule.  But will the move protect children?  Or will it expose these most vulnerable of our young people – and our state’s taxpayers – to unnecessary risks?

First, let’s look at how the new bounty system would work.  Basically, the group care facilities in question would agree to accept more money from SCDSS in exchange for a promise not to turn away children “determined by (SCDSS) to be an emergency placement.”

How much more money?  An estimated $75 per day – which would almost double the current per day appropriation for a typical low-risk placement.

Why is SCDSS scrambling to incentivize these “emergency placements?”

According to our sources, the agency was woefully unprepared for the launch of its new regional reporting system (a.k.a. “regional intake hubs”) for handling reports of abused or neglected children.  As a result, SCDSS is now struggling mightily to keep up with the volume of incoming cases it had been “neglecting” for years.

“They were screening out calls,” a source told us.

In fact the rollout of this new intake program – which launched in Columbia, S.C. and Spartanburg, S.C. earlier this year – has been blocked throughout the rest of the state because the agency simply wasn’t ready to start doing its job.  That means the “old system” – of SCDSS effectively ignoring the plight of these children – remains in place throughout most of the state.

“They are looking for any reason whatsoever not to take that call – not to go investigate – because they can’t handle the volume of incoming they already have,” one child welfare advocate told us.

Sheesh …

Remember: In addition to its deadly, costly incompetence (exposed relentlessly by this website for years) this is the same agency we recently revealed was facilitating South Carolina’s role in a controversial refugee resettlement program.

Which leads to our question: How on earth does SCDSS have the money to relocate hundreds of new foreign nationals into the state when it can’t afford to take care of our abused and neglected children?

Hmmmm.  Maybe someone will ask S.C. governor Nikki Haley (who supports the resettlement) about that …

While they’re at it, perhaps they could ask her why SCDSS is now effectively doubling per-day placement costs on its new program – which fails completely to take into account whether these “emergency placements” might endanger children already in the group homes.

“It appears a child could be placed for up two weeks at a center that is not their designated level of care,” one child advocated told us. “Which is concerning.”

Ya think?

This new placement program is a lawsuit – well, potentially hundreds of lawsuits – waiting to happen.

The advocate added that “you can bet (the emergency placements) will be there longer than ‘allotted time.'”

And there’s nothing the group home providers can do about it, either.

“By signing this change order you agree that you will not reject any client sent for placement and you must retain that placement,” the order states, adding that the child “must stay in the facility until they can be placed in a permanent environment.”

We would strongly urge SCDSS to reconsider this ill-conceived idea.  In fact, this sort of piss-poor, “throw more money at it” managerial style is further evidence that this agency has learned absolutely nothing from its years of scandals.


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Just Asking September 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

What are the options? Maybe this is not good, but what specific steps and available options are better? (Please don’t just say “do a good job”). There obviously is some kind of overload (sad). What is the right way to deal with it?

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Not vote republican. It is what it is, wars are more important than people.

People Are Important September 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Republicans love people. People to feed into the war machine.

Kiddie Sausage September 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm

“What is the right way to deal with it?”

I think Brazil with the whole roaming death squads targeting kids thing worked out well.

GetLoftis September 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I think there is only one answer. Send Curtis Loftis to DSS and let him rid the agency of all the fraud, waste and abuse. According to him, he has the answer to everything so let’s get him to fix DSS. After all, if we can trust him with our money we can trust him with our children, no? He might even start one of those group homes for teens himself.

jimlewisowb September 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

“….In an email sent after 6:00 p.m. EDT….” and on a Friday no less

Management 101 Rule #1 – If have really great news ring the bells, print the flyers and let everyone know first thing Monday morning

Management 101 Rule #69 – If you and your management team have gone from SNAFU(situation normal all fucked up) to FUBAR(fucked up beyond all recognition) then send out the bad news well after closing time on a Friday

Also advise all management staff to conveniently misplace their cell phones and/or let the battery run down

Manray9 September 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Just another testament to the sterling leadership, business acumen, managerial savvy and keen eye for judging personnel of our governor. Yes that’s right — the same one who was just reelected.

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SC is a Cesspool September 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Piss Ant Governor = Piss Ant Run State Agencies.

Mandingo September 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Despite all the bluster and news reports, nothing has or will change in the immediate future at SCDSS. Sadly there will be more deaths as a result of the utter incompetence and criminal neglect by Gov. Haley and her sycophants at SCDSS.

Haven’t those abused and neglected child suffered enough? Warehousing them at exorbitant rates is not the answer.

Mandingo September 1, 2015 at 4:54 pm


Denozitall September 2, 2015 at 5:27 am

The lack of leadership there is astounding. I witnessed a team interview where six candidates were called into a room to compete for two jobs. When you are as fucked up as they are over there, maybe you should just stick to the basics before you try to implement such progressive (???really???) Job placement interviewing techniques. It was a cluster. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

beenthere September 2, 2015 at 9:47 am

What do you expect from Gov. Haley. Nothing has changed @ DSS except there is a new figurehead as the State Director. The same idiots are running the show and the County Offices can do nothing but watch as children and families suffer. The folks @ DSS in Cola need to cut the fat. Why are there so many employees @ the State Office who do absolutely nothing? They all make more $ than 3 or 4 caseworkers combined. Why are there Regional Managers when you have so called experts in Cola.? Those positions could be used to hire caseworkers. As far as team interviews; everyone @ DSS knows who conducts them, and he is certainly the biggest idiot of them all. This Agency will never have to capacity to protect children and families until Gov. Haley and all of the Koller drones are gone……………..someone needs to clean house and do it now!

FedUp September 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

Dead babies are so common in the Third World, where Nikki comes from, that they’re just part of the scenery. Why should SC be any different!?! Poor kids have no money for the GOP, so they’re basically a waste of air, once they’re born, to the GOP. Why so serious?!?


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