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      SC senators put DSS under major scrutiny

      By JEFFREY COLLINSAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A panel of state senators says the Department of Social Services has serious problems that need to be fixed.

      A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday heard about an alarming number of child deaths where DSS was already involved. They also heard about a system of goals that encourages social workers to keep children out of or remove them from foster care even if it isn't the best thing to do. Several caregivers told heart-wrenching stories about DSS removing children without a proper investigation.

      Democratic Sen. Joel Lourie of Columbia and Republican Sen. Katrina Shealy of Lexington both say DSS needs to answer questions. Shealy says the problems are so widespread it appears people in all levels of the agency are not doing their jobs.

      DSS officials will respond next Wednesday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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