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Resource ID: #26573
A News19 report on a 4 year old boy named Robert Guinyard Jr., who despite multiple reports of abuse, died in state care, put the spotlight on former South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) State Director Lillian Koller. Our investigation found multiple instances where policy says DSS should have stepped in. It would take the agency two months to publicly admit to a Senate Oversight Committee that policies were not followed in the case. The DSS Deputy State Director for Child Protective Services told us, “the system failed Robert.” News 19 reported at least 36 stories about DSS in 2014 on-air, online, and on mobile platforms. Our investigation led to the resignation of the agency's State Director, policy changes in the Child Protective Services division, and increased funding to an understaffed guardian ad litum group that advocates for kids in state custody.