Gov. Haley touts DSS improvement plan for 1 county

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says the S.C. Department of Social Services is hiring 20 caseworkers to improve child welfare services in Richland County. The plan's release follows questions surrounding children's deaths.

Haley's office said Tuesday 20 caseworkers are being redirected from 11 other counties until the new employees can be hired and trained. The transfers join 10 other employees redirected to Richland County over the last year.

The initiative includes reducing social workers' case loads and creating a second shift in Richland County. Director Lillian Koller asked senators last month for permission to hire 50 people. Her request came amid hearings about potential problems at the agency.

Democratic Sen. Joel Lourie says the problems aren't limited to Richland County. He continued to call for Koller's ouster.

Haley has repeatedly backed Koller.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.