Lawmaker outraged by alleged DSS placement of child in sex offender house
A child was molested for 15 months after being placed by social workers in a Dorchester County home where a registered sex offender lived, state Rep. Jenny Horne said today.
“It’s outrageous,” said Horne, who lives in Summerville.
Law enforcement officials did not immediately confirm the report.
“I do know there is an investigation ongoing now,” Horne said.
She said she could not reveal the source of her information.
“It’s just grossly negligent. There is no other way to describe it,” she said.
At Horne’s urging, the Legislative Audit Council on Monday approved an audit of the state Department of Social Services. More than two dozen members of the State House Republican Caucus, including Horne, asked for the review in a letter to the LAC that references the Dorchester County incident.
The DSS office in Berkeley County put the child in the Dorchester County home at the request of the mother, who was being investigated because of concerns that the youngster was neglected, the letter states.
Horne said the child is a girl between the ages of 8 and 10, and the DSS audit will get to the bottom of how the situation happened.
“It’s inexcusable,” she said.
In response to the upcoming audit, DSS issued a brief statement today.
“We were contacted today by Legislative Audit Council Director Perry Simpson. He advised that the audit is likely to start after the first of the year,” it said. “We will cooperate fully with the audit and look forward to working with the LAC staff.”
The agency did not respond to a request for comment on allegations of sexual abuse in the Dorchester County case.
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