COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Department of Social Services director for Richland County is leaving the job amid questions about two children's deaths.

The agency confirmed Thursday that Elizabeth Stroup is stepping down as director to take a new DSS job in York County. DSS says the foster care job is closer to Stroup's home.

A Senate panel investigating the agency has been critical of workers' caseloads, particularly in Richland County.

Four-year-old Robert Guinyard Jr. died last summer, three months after Stroup become director. His parents were sentenced last month to life in prison for murder.

DSS was criticized during the trial. Family members, friends and doctors said they had asked unsuccessfully for DSS to intervene.

State Director Elizabeth Koller resigned earlier this month. She has testified that Richland County DSS has chronic issues.