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SC Infant’s Death Under Investigation

Another scandal coming for “child welfare” agency?

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The death of a three-month-old South Carolina infant is under investigation, but fingers are already being pointed at the dysfunctional “child welfare” agency that was supposed to be watching out for the child’s best interests.

The baby, Safarii Ju’elz Taylor, died on February 21 in Columbia, S.C.

The death is currently under investigation by the city of Columbia police department and the Richland County, S.C. coroner’s office.

Details are sketchy at this point, but we’re told the case has the potential to turn into yet another public relations nightmare for the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – which continues to face criticism over its mishandling of child fatality cases.

Actually, is there anything this agency is doing right?  No … nothing.  Sadly that’s been the story for years … even after the agency’s previous director resigned in disgrace following a tragically mishandled child welfare “investigation.”

SCDSS has been hiring dozens of new child welfare caseworkers – and is supposed to hire dozens more in the years to come – but the agency continues to drop the ball.

The result? Dead kids …

SCDSS is slated to receive $758.5 million in the latest version of the fiscal year 2018-2019 state budget, which would represent an increase of 3.2 percent from the current spending plan (and an increase of nearly 10 percent over the last three budget cycles).

Oh, and none of these totals include the estimated $1.3 billion the agency doles out annually in food stamps, either.  That particular line item was surreptitiously removed from the state budget by lawmakers back in 2014.

As with most expenditures made by state government, the budget increases at SCDSS have created a “Mo Money, Mo Problems” situation.

Honestly, though, what did lawmakers expect?  They are plugging more money into what is clearly a broken system … and expecting anything to come out of the other end except more expensive failure is delusional.

Anyway, we have been provided with some absolutely harrowing details of this case which we are working to confirm as the investigation moves forward.  So stay tuned for updates in the days and weeks to come.

Bottom line?  This is going to be a very, very big story … and like so many of the ones we’ve covered in recent months and years, a very, very sad one.

One final note: This website has repeatedly invited SCDSS and its director, Susan Alford, to comment on our stories, but as of this writing no one at the agency has ever taken us up on that offer.  In the event Alford or any of her employees decide to avail themselves of this standing invitation, we’ll be sure to let our readers know … particularly as it relates to this case.

Until then, “developing …”

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