South Carolina's Department of Social Services, the state agency responsible for addressing child abuse and neglect, has lost more the $100 million due to budget cuts over the past few years and can no longer meet basic federal requirements for child welfare.
An official federal review of the agency found that the state consistently falls short in providing stable living arrangements, providing for the needs of children in foster care and is infrequently follows up with parents. The review also notes that the DSS failed to meet national standards for "timeliness of adoptions, permanency for children in foster care for extended periods, or placement stability."
Insufficient funding is clearly a huge driving force behind the sorry state at the Department of Social Services, however, it isn't the only problem. Miscommunication, a shortage of foster homes and court system delays all contribute to the problem.
So what's the fix for the future? Hopefully it'll start with some much needed money directed back into the agency.
The Post and Courier has a great article on the issue, go check it out.