Tick tock goes the clock and the question is, when will it stop?
The Department of Social Services along with Gov. Nikki Haley should be taken to task by every citizen in the state of South Carolina for their complete disregard for due process and lack of transparency. There is absolutely no excuse for ANY refusal to answer questions where the welfare of our children is concerned.
The department itself is insulated to the point of no accountability, operating under a system that in its present state picks and chooses as it pleases which rules apply and which don’t on a case by case basis.
For example, one particular person involved in an ongoing case with the department has been requesting a copy of their file since November 2013 with no response from the county or state level. When asked by a member of the media about the right to access their own files if involved in a case, the answer was the person has every right to a copy.
But apparently it depends on who is asking for the file. In reference to the above case, the person was told she c0uld not have a copy of her record because their is information “she doesn’t need to know” in the records.
Our question is this: Determined by whom?
Investigations and cases last in excess of 12 months and cannot be discussed, according to DSS policy.
This newspaper has requested an interview with Gov. Haley about the Department of Social Services and we have yet to receive a yes, we can set something up or no, she declines at this time. We have made multiple requests and as of today, have not heard back from the governor or her office.
DSS falls under her domain as a cabinet level department, so shouldn’t Gov. Haley be out front in the discussion of a solution to the problem, or at the very least, a discussion of the problem itself?
The issues with the Department of Social Services in South Carolina are not going to go away, nor are the prying eyes of the media.
Why? Because the swirling cloud hovering above the DSS doesn’t just drop rain on Columbia. It reaches its dangerous fingers all the way into your community, too.
And just like a hurricane, it might look like everything is calm right now but let another child die, let another daycare owner operate without a license, let another infant be left in an abusive home because the case worker just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of paperwork, and the disgust and anger will pump energy into that hurricane quicker than you can say …
Part of our job as journalists is to be the watchdogs of our community and in some cases like this, our state. Just because our papers are based in Anderson and Pickens counties doesn’t mean that there are not people here, in our community, who have been victims of the DSS apathy that has now turned into a raging storm of disgust.
So, we ask again: How about an interview, Gov. Haley?