Charleston, South Carolina – Gov. McMaster refused the federal inquiry to house unaccompanied minors from the southern border in South Carolina issuing an order directing the S.C. Department of Social Services.
The order came after DSS asked about the state’s child welfare system’s capacity.
DSS Director Michael Leach directly contacted the governor on April 8. His inquiry came after the federal government’s plan to bring and accommodate unaccompanied migrant children from the border to SC foster care and group homes.
Governor McMaster responded to Director Leach: “South Carolina’s children must always be given first priority for placement into foster care and the State’s strained resources must be directed to addressing the needs of its children. Allowing the federal government to place an unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our state’s child welfare system for an unspecified length of time is an unacceptable proposition. We’ve been down this road with the federal government before and the state usually ends up ‘on the hook.’”
Unaccompanied migrant children will occupy the foster care facilities and strain overall foster services. Governor thinks all South Carolina foster capacities should be reserved for resident children who enter the agency’s care.
Federal government said they will also provide financial support for unaccompanied minors.