Palmetto Sunrise: Welfare to work program in the crosshairs

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, (D-Camden), the Democratic candidate for South Carolina governor.

As the investigation into child deaths under protective custody at the Department of Social Services continues, the Democrat in the governor's race is also calling into question DSS's welfare to work program.

Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen cited two recent Post and Courier stories in calling for more transparency at DSS on Wednesday: one that explored the privatization of the agency's welfare to work program and another that cited concerns about whether the Haley administration's numbers paint an accurate picture of poverty in the Palmetto State.

"The continuing investigations into the fake numbers relating to children's deaths after DSS involvement began just this way: with workers and advocates and concerned citizens seeing the failure to tell the truth by Gov. Haley and her appointees, and feeling compelled to speak out," Sheheen said. "And now, that is happening again."

Doug Mayer, the governor's spokesman, said Sheheen and his liberal allies should be cheering jobs for those in poverty. "Gov. Haley has always believed that the best way to take care of our South Carolina families is to provide more and better opportunities for them to find work in our state - and that is exactly what the welfare to work program has done," Mayer said.

The program began drawing attention when Gov. Nikki Haley launched a campaign ad called "Paychecks," which highlighted the fact that more than 20,000 of those on food stamps, now called SNAP, or welfare, have found jobs through DSS's welfare to work program during Haley's tenure.

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