Part Ib: WAREHOUSING OUR CHILDREN

NOT IN MY WORLD!!!!

.jpg photo of DSS Director Susan Alford, the new Department of Social Services director

South Carolina Laws Hide Child Abuse Inside Group Homes
By Lauren Sausser

Funding foster families

The federal lawsuit hinges on the widely-accepted premise that social services caseworkers in South Carolina are overwhelmed with work. They don’t have time to keep track of all the children that they’re charged to protect.

A Legislative Audit Council report published last year shows more than 30 percent of caseworkers statewide were each assigned at least 50 children to monitor, and a few were assigned more than 75. The Child Welfare League of America, a national advocacy group, recommends each caseworker manage no more than 17 families per month.

The Legislative Audit Council report and a string of child deaths prompted Statehouse hearings and calls to reform the child welfare agency. Former DSS Director Lillian Koller, who tried to scale back the number of foster children…

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