Children Sue South Carolina to End Longstanding Dangers in Foster Care

Children's Rights

(Charleston, S.C.) — Citing dangerous deficiencies in South Carolina’s child welfare system – including a drastic shortage of foster homes, excessive caseloads and a failure to provide children with basic health care – national advocacy organization Children’s Rights, the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Matthew T. Richardson, partner at the South Carolina law firm Wyche P.A., today filed suit against Governor Nikki Haley and Acting State Director of the Department of Social Services (DSS) Susan Alford.

The class action, Michelle H. v. Haley, filed in the Charleston Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, seeks reform on behalf of nearly 3,400 abused and neglected children statewide. It charges that as a result of pervasive failures by DSS, “Children have been and continue to be harmed physically, psychologically and emotionally, and continue to be placed at constant risk of such harms while in DSS custody.”

The 11 named plaintiffs, representing all children in state care, range in age from 2 to 17 and collectively have lived in foster homes and institutions across the state, suffering in myriad ways. For example...

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