Alford to retire from role as state's social services director

Alford to retire from role as state's social services director

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The governor's office announced Monday that the director South Carolina's Department of Social Service, Susan Alford, has announced her retirement from the office.

"Ms. Alford has led the Department of Social Services with a true servant's heart and with a passion that made its way throughout the entire agency as she and her team worked tirelessly to help the vulnerable children and adults in South Carolina," Gov. Henry McMaster said. "We are sorry that her time at the agency has come to an end, but must congratulate her on her retirement and her 40 years of dedicated service to the people of our great state and thank her on behalf of the countless South Carolinians who have been impacted by that service."

Alford has been at the helm of SCDSS since December 2014. Her retirement is effective July 16, 2018.

"It has been an honor to serve children, victims, and adults over the past 40 years and particularly in my recent years at SCDSS," Director Alford said. "The reform of our child welfare system and our system for serving vulnerable adults in SC is a marathon, not a sprint. While the decision to retire was difficult, it is rewarding to know I have finished my leg of the race. We have built an excellent executive and leadership team at SCDSS and I know they will continue to move the agency forward."

A release from the governor's office said the following of Alford's time as the DSS director:

Director Alford was appointed by then Gov. Nikki Haley one month after SCDSS became subject to a class action lawsuit (Michele H.) filed by Children's Rights, Inc. A settlement agreement for the Michele H. lawsuit was reached in October 2016, and since that time, the agency has been engaged in child welfare reform efforts targeted at increasing foster home recruitment, caseload reduction, and improvements in health care services for children.

Current SCDSS Chief of Staff Joan Meacham will serve as acting director when Director Alford's retirement takes effect.

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