Report: State Not Adequately Protecting Elderly, Disabled

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new report says social workers in South Carolina who investigate reported abuse of elderly and disabled residents are often overburdened by excessive caseloads and fail to properly review allegations.

The report released Friday by the Legislative Audit Council says many potential victims aren't visited for months, before or after the investigation, and there's often no attempt to interview the alleged abuser.

As of last fall, the Department of Social Services employed 74 full-time workers statewide to handle vulnerable adult cases. The report says caseloads are highest in Lexington County, where two workers were handling 222 cases.

DSS Director Susan Alford says the review confirms many of the agency's challenges, and improvements are underway.

Alford notes she's testified repeatedly since 2015 that the division hasn't received adequate attention in years.

© 2017 Associated Press


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