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There is a big mess with the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The leader of that Agency is a lady by the name of Lillian Koller. She has been asked to come and testify at our State House about some of the issues that Department of Social Services have been facing, which include Children dying and inappropriate actions by Social Workers. She tells us she has had an illness, and can’t testify. However, during this illness she has found time to go to the Governor’s mansion for a couple of events and attend the State of State Address. I am concerned by these facts and it appears we need to make a change in this State Agency.
The most recent reminder of this mess is the story of a child by the name of Robert Guinyard, Jr. His aunt was trying to get custody of him because she was so deeply concerned about what was happening in that boy’s home. She warned social workers 17 times that Robert was at risk. Because her pleas to SC DSS went unheeded, Guniyard, 4 years old, was beaten to death in his home, last July.
Then, we have the story from Kelly Height, the grandmother who was petrified by what happened in front of her 5-year-old granddaughter. Her granddaughter was taken from the home because the DSS worker accused the father of Child Molestation. The Social Worker did this in front of the 5-year-old. It was a deplorable act and very poor judgment by the social worker. The father was cleared of any charges a month later.
These stories are symbolic, representing a pattern of problems with the SC Department of Social Services that runs very deep.
Sources have told me that Lillian Koller is a great person; I can’t dispute that. But, I do dispute whether she is the right leader for DSS in SC. It’s time for Lillian Koller to step down.
This is an opportunity for our Governor, Nikki Haley to show strong leadership and take resolute action to insure that SC Department of Social Services not only performs well financially, but also insures that our SC children are safe.
Governor Haley Spokesperson, Doug Mayer, told me “There is nothing more important than the welfare of our children and under Director Koller’s watch child deaths have decreased 25 percent, adoptions have increased 11 percent, and we have successfully moved over 20,000 people from welfare to work. Governor Haley has and will continue to support her efforts to protect and better the lives of South Carolina families and children.”
I interviewed State Senator Vincent Sheheen (Democrat Candidate for Governor), on my radio program, who told me that the numbers shared by Mayer did not account for cases like Guinyard, who died. He also explained that many of the transferees from Welfare to work later returned to welfare and were not subtracted from the “net gain” numbers.
If Sheheen’s comments are true, then this conservative rests his case. Koller must go.
Bryan Crabtree is heard live each weekday from 8-10am on AM1340 and AM950 Charleston or via the tune-in app + streaming live at thebryancrabtreeshow.com.