DSS mistake places SC boy in felon’s custody: report
ROCK HILL, S.C. — A South Carolina Department of Social Services office has placed an 8-year-old boy in the care of his uncle without a comprehensive background check on the relative, who is a convicted felon, according to a report.
According to The Rock Hill Herald, the York County boy was removed from his father’s home in 2012 due to allegations of abuse.
The paper reports the boy’s placement with his 36-year-old uncle is not “formal,” but part of a “safety plan” that officials and the boy’s parents agreed upon.
The boy’s uncle served 18 years in prison on charges of assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with a 1995 incident in which he threw a concrete brick at a man’s car, hitting him in the head, The Herald reports.
In addition, The Herald reports the uncle was charged with abusing the boy in October.
While the county social worker assigned to the case performed a “local criminal history check” on the relative, they “did not check his criminal past with state or federal agencies,” according to the paper.
The department’s “kinship placement policy” allows family members to recommend relatives suitable for care of their children in the case that they’re removed from a home, officials tell the paper.
A DSS spokesperson tells The Herald the worker assigned to the case ran “preliminary checks” on the boy’s uncle, but the records did not show his criminal activities from the 1990s.
According to The Herald’s report, state officials began investigating the county’s handling of the case after being contacted by the paper.
Read more: HeraldOnline.com