SC Senators Hear About More Problems at DSS - WFLA News Channel 8

SC Senators Hear About More Problems at DSS

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Winton Swanson dries her tears after describing her family's hardships. Winton Swanson dries her tears after describing her family's hardships.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

After two infant deaths of children in home day cares, parents and former employees of the Department of Social Services (DSS) are asking for major changes.

On Wednesday a Senate subcommittee looking into problems with DSS, heard from several people and the experiences they have gone through.

"It's been failure after failure after failure, where things are slipping through the system and unfortunately the circumstances are very tragic. Kids are dying," said Senator Joel Lourie.

Kathryn Martin testified that her three-month-old baby died in a home day care last month and she is hoping to see tighter regulations on these facilities.

“The owner of the daycare had told my husband and I that she, her mother and her daughter were CPR certified and that DSS checked on them constantly. In fact, none of the daycare staff was CPR certified,” said Martin.

Senators say they are working to get more regulations and more transparency for DSS.

Another problem discussed Wednesday was the adoption process. Winton Swanson testified on behalf of her family after adopting an older child through DSS in October 2012.

“It has been very challenging, very emotional and very stressful. Lots of tears,” said Swanson.

She says DSS did not tell her about some of the issues her adoptive son faces and her family was not equipped to handle.

According to DSS, adoption numbers are up, but senators are concerned that the agency wants to boost numbers instead of handling situations properly.

Director of DSS Lillian Koller is scheduled to testify in front of the subcommittee on April 16.

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