COLUMBIA (WACH)??State Senator Joel Lourie responded to the state??s Department of Social Services (DSS) assertion that the numbers he presented at yesterday??s press conference were not accurate.
Lourie repeated the fact that the data he presented came directly from DSS.
??These are the numbers the agency provided to the DSS oversight subcommittee,?? said Lourie. ?? It??s extremely troubling that a cabinet agency would provide an oversight committee numbers one day and then the next day say the numbers are not accurate. There is a credibility crisis. Who are we supposed to believe? This is another alarming example of an agency that is in chaos and meltdown, and why a change of leadership is needed.??
The subcommittee investigating DSS is scheduled to hold another hearing in the weeks ahead.
??I will be pressing for an explanation on these troubling inconsistencies from the agency at the next hearing,?? said Lourie.
Lourie also called Governor Haley and DSS Director Koller??s accusation that he is playing politics with this issue is ??absurd??.
A spokesperson from DSS responded to some of Senator Lourie??s claims, saying that much of what Senator Lourie said was either incorrect or completely out of context.
While Sen. Lourie claims that close to 50 percent of reports of suspected child abuse aren??t answered within 24 hours, DSS says that the statement confuses intake with investigations. The spokesperson says annual data in DSS April 2014 report confirms that more than 95% of referrals for investigation of suspect child abuse or neglect have timely investigation within 24 hours.
Senator Lourie also says 20% of foster care kids aren??t being seen by caseworks at least once a month. DSS claims that annual date in the March 2014 report confirms that 90% of the children in open foster care cases are seen by DSS caseworkers at least once a month.