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As of 1989, Los Angeles County, CA had paid $18 million in settlements to children who were abused while in custody.
~Margot Hornblower, "Fixing the System," Time Magazine, 12/11/95.
South Carolina CPS News Archive
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South Carolina News Coverage
2 Women Show Up And Say They're From Child Protective Services, But Mom Has A Bad Feeling
Amanda Walker knew something was off, but she didn't quite know why. One day she received a phone call from a woman saying she was from Child Protective Services. The woman said someone claimed that Walker had neglected her children. This was already a po
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September 7, 2016
Clown sightings reported in Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Laurinburg
Everybody loves a clown - unless it's hovering in the woods at dark.
There were two such reports in Cumberland County on Tuesday - one in Fayetteville and one in Hope Mills - and in Laurinburg, authorities said. In Fayetteville, someone called police about 10 p.m. and reported there were clowns in the area of Fillyaw Road and Applewood Lane, less than a quarter-mile from North Reilly Road.
September 7, 2016
Lawsuit: Agency falsified drug tests
More than a dozen people are waiting to follow Sandra James' lead in suing a company responsible for drug test results sent to the Department of Social Services that might have been falsified.
"We're not sure how many people this affects," said Laura Saunders, a Laurens attorney working on many of the pending legal cases. "Drug tests came back positive for children, which were absolutely false. It exposes children to being taken out of their homes, some put in foster care." People affected might be facing false accusations of drug use and child abuse, and could lose their jobs or children in the process, she said.
May 7, 2016
SC mom's arrest sparks child care debate
Plenty of working parents can relate to the dilemma Debra Harrell faced when her 9-year-old daughter asked to play unsupervised in a park this summer. How do you find the time and money for child care when school is out?
Harrell's answer to that question got her arrested. She spent the night in jail, temporarily lost custody of her girl for 17 days, thought she lost her job, and still faces 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect. The decision of this 46-year-old single mother and McDonald's shift manager has been picked apart since police were called when Regina was spotted alone in the park.
July 31, 2014
Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised
A North Augusta mother is in jail after witnesses say she left her nine-year-old daughter at a nearby park, for hours at a time.
Debra Harrell works at McDonald's in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonald's has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.
July 14, 2014
Rock Hill mom accused of leaving kids in car speaks out
A Rock Hill mom will have to deal with DSS after police say she left her three young kids in the car while she ran into the grocery store Monday.
Milem realizes she is in hot water after leaving her kids alone inside her car during a quick trip to the store in Rock Hill. But she says, it's not as it sounds. She says the car was running with the air conditioning on and the kids were in no danger.
July 11, 2014
Better training means better protection for children
As a social-work educator and a social worker with more than 25 years of experience in public and private child welfare in South Carolina, I have followed the crisis at the Department of Social Services with a mixture of sadness and frustration.
The sadness comes from the loss of children's lives despite the existence of a public system that is supposed to protect these young ones. The frustration comes from observing our legislative leadership question who is at fault for these deaths, without taking the right steps to reduce the risks in the future.
May 16, 2014
Merger benefits welfare groups
The merger between two of the state's oldest child welfare organizations will allow their combined resources to serve a larger population, and the new organization will carry more clout while advocating in Raleigh, its leaders say.
Barium Springs Home for Children and Grandfather Home for Children officially merged April 1, a move that both organizations see as beneficial, said Adam Hicks, the group's communications manager. Combined, the two will serve nearly 3,500 children in 63 counties, under the umbrella of Homes for Children. Individually, each agency has more than 100 years experience and were founded as orphanages with deep roots in the Presbyterian denomination.
May 16, 2014
State stepping in at Richland DSS, SC governor says
Gov. Nikki Haley unveiled a plan Tuesday to improve caseloads and child-welfare services at the Department of Social Services' Richland County office.
A short-term intervention team and new hires, including more caseworkers, are part of the plan, Haley said in an interview with The State. Haley said Social Services has been on her radar since before she became governor.
May 13, 2014
DSS officials defend foster care system to senate panel
State senators heard testimony Wednesday from DSS officials who defended the agency's foster care system. Last year, more than 28,000 calls came into DSS and of those, the agency said about 18,000 were investigated.
"Even though she was the one who called 911 and brought her to the hospital, they accused her of hurting the child," said Susan Follmann. "They said, 'When we find that the babysitter did not do this, we're coming after you. ...we know you're lying.'" Their granddaughter was eventually released into their custody with a handwritten note and the babysitter is being investigated by police.
January 22, 2014
Mom sues US government in Indian girl's adoption
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The biological mother of a girl at the center of a South Carolina adoption dispute has sued the federal government, saying a law governing the placement of Indian children is unconstitutional.
In her lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in South Carolina, Christy Maldonado asks U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for a declaration that parts of the Indian Child Welfare Act are illegal. Those measures - which include a preference for "other Indian families" over prospective non-Indian adoptive parents - should be nixed because the law uses race in determining with whom a child should live and therefore violates equal protection provisions, Maldonado argues.
August 19, 2013
3rd grade teacher Daniel Johns assaulted 9-year-old girl
Rock Hill police are investigating after a 3rd grade teacher was arrested and charged with assaulting a 9-year-old female student.
According to the Rock Hill School District, Daniel Johns, a third-grade teacher at Rosewood Elementary School, is on administrative leave with pay following an incident that occurred Wednesday morning before school began. Officials say the incident involved Johns and a third-grade student.
March 29, 2013
Myrtle Beach family still hoping family court judge will reunite them
Nothing could be clearer to Jennifer Delph about what should happen to her niece Vivian-Delph Lee. Family Court should give full custody of 11-month-old Vivian to her great-grandparents, Grant and Lynne Delph.
They have proved time and again that they are capable of taking on the challenge, and that they want to. They wanted to take in Vivian, as they had about five years earlier with Paul, who was born addicted to drugs. But the Oconee County department of DSS argued their home was already too full and too stressed, particularly given the struggles they've had to adjust to while raising Paul and a couple other small children.
February 28, 2013
Child born to drug addict caught in fight between DSS and family
Lynne and Grant Delph have been married more than 20 years and have completed foster care and adoptive parent training.
They've provided care for five years for their great-grandson, Paul Lima, who was born to their drug-addicted granddaughter, as well as to four other children placed with them by the S.C. Department of Social Services. Now the Delphs want to gain custody of Paul's youngest sister, Vivian Delph-Lee. But DSS, which usually tries to keep families intact, believes the girl would be better off with the foster parents who have cared for her all of her young life.
January 26, 2013
SC woman sentenced for role in killing of toddler found in cement-filled trash can
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Grace Trotman, who plead guilty to homicide by child abuse in the death of a Charleston toddler, was sentenced Tuesday morning.
In February Trotman admitted to helping her ex-boyfriend, Roger Williams, dispose of his son's body in 2010. Trotman was sentenced to 15 years for homicide by child abuse and 10 years for desecration of remains the sentences will run concurrently.
December 30, 2012
Bill would exempt South Carolina-made guns from federal rules
CHARLESTON - Weapons made in South Carolina would be exempt from federal regulations if a proposed piece of legislation becomes law.
The Firearms Freedom Act, pre-filed earlier this month by state Sen. Lee Bright, would mean that firearms, ammunition and gun accessories made in South Carolina aren't subject to federal rules and oversight. Weapons made in South Carolina, the bill notes, must be stamped with the words "Made in South Carolina."
December 30, 2012
Bill would boost annual salaries of S.C. legislators to $50,000
A proposal to dramatically increase the salaries of state lawmakers is among scores of bills that were pre-filed this week in anticipation of the South Carolina General Assembly's coming session.
Under a measure sponsored by state Rep. John King, legislators would receive an annual salary of $50,000 starting in 2015. Currently South Carolina's 170 state lawmakers earn $10,400 annually along with a $119 per day for meals and housing when they attend legislative sessions or committee meetings.
December 30, 2012
Easley man charged with assaulting child
A 42-year-old Easley man has been charged after a child was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, authorities said.
Jerry Edward Dudley of 332 Apple Hill Road was charged with kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct or attempt with a minor under 11 years of age, and abuse, according to warrants from the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.
December 30, 2012
Anderson Chiropractor: Chronic Pain Management Possible With Whole Body Care
Garcia Chiropractic is educating patients about the benefits of natural pain management. Dr. Harvey Garcia uses non-invasive therapies to help with chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy.
According to Dr. Garcia, chiropractic care is an effective alternative to traditional prescription painkillers. Care options include hands-on and brain-based therapies, such as decompression therapy, mechanical traction, Rebuilder Neurology Therapy and Advanced Therapeutic Movement therapy. This whole body approach to chronic pain is designed to address both the symptoms and underlying causes that trigger health problems.
November 25, 2012
Fed reviews of state child protection agencies under debate; review tied to arrests in Ga.
ATLANTA - Over the last decade, the federal government has withheld money from four states and Washington for the poor performance of their child protection systems.
The effectiveness of those federal reviews and the wisdom of penalizing cash-strapped child welfare agencies has been a matter of debate among experts in the field. That issue remerged in September when two child protection workers were arrested and accused of manipulating data so it would appear they were meeting internal guidelines related to the federal review process.
November 4, 2012
Fine Arts Center Beginning Homeschool Ensemble Program
The Fine Arts Center of Easley is now accepting enrollment in the Homeschool Band and Orchestra program.
This program is designed to give homeschool students the opportunity to learn vital ensemble skills important in developing well-rounded musical skills. This program should be a supplement to a student's private lesson regimen, not a substitute for private lessons.
October 22, 2012
SC Supreme Court upholds return of Native American girl to home in Oklahoma
The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the return of a Native American girl adopted by a South Carolina family to her father in Oklahoma, weighing for the first time state adoption law against the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
In a 3-2 decision, the justices said the act confers custodial preference to the child's father, a member of the Cherokee tribe. "Adoptive Couple are ideal parents who have exhibited the ability to provide a loving family environment for Baby Girl," said the opinion written by Chief Justice Jean Toal.
July 26, 2012
Gov. Nikki Haley vetoes HPV vaccination bill aimed at middle-schoolers
Gov. Nikki Haley has vetoed a bill that could have allowed seventh-grade students to get a free vaccination against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer in women.
Haley once supported an effort to require the vaccinations for middle-schoolers, leading critics to blast the veto as hypocritical. Haley said the bill was unnecessary because its language would merely allow, not require, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to implement a voluntary vaccination and education program on human papillomavirus, or HPV.
June 21, 2012
Interscholastic Activities Opened to Homeschoolers
On June 7, 2012, Governor Nikki Haley signed into law Senate Bill 149, thereby creating the Equal Access to Interscholastic Activities Act applicable to charter school students, Governor's school students, and homeschool students.
As it relates to homeschool students, the new law permits those who have been homeschooled for a full academic year to participate in interscholastic activities at their local public school. These activities include, but are not limited to, athletics, music, speech, and other extracurricular activities. The law went into effect on the date of the governor's approval, in time for the upcoming 2012-13 school year.
June 14, 2012
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Jacked Up: No Where To Turn
Most states have safe haven laws on the books, permitting a new parent to drop off an infant at a local fire department or hospital without repercussions. This is a laudable service that I am certain has had a positive impact on more than one infants life over the years.
May 15, 2010