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Column: DSS claims its making progress
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When we published my two-part “Orphaned and homeless” in-depth look at a teenager named “J.M.” and how a jury found the S.C. Department of Social Services (DSS) negligent and awarded J.M. $150,000 in damages, we printed the agency’s only response for comment at the end of both parts: “(DSS is) carefully reviewing the outcome of the trial in Kershaw County and considering its appellate options. Regardless of the next steps taken in this particular case, the department is committed to serving vulnerable children and adults with courage, compassion and competence.” It seemed like far too little a response to such a devastating story, especially since it seemed almost word-for-word like the response DSS provided for last summer’s story of a $250,000 award to a Kershaw County couple, also for negligence.