I am writing this column relating to what I have seen as being an injustice to the people of South Carolina. 1 am a Licensed Master of Social Work who has graduated from a highly rated school of social work and has been a therapist, supervisor, program manager and director of outpatient and inpatient programs. In South Carolina 1 have been employed in the Department of Alcohol and Drugs (DAODAS), the Department of Mental Health and The Department of Juvenile Justice. I have also applied for at least thirty eight supervisory positions at the Department of Social Service (DSS) where I was told you do not have to be a Licensed Master of Social Work to be in a supervisory position. South Carolina has to be one of the few States that does not have the requirement to be Licensed Master of Social Work for supervisory positions. Also the Department of Social Services only promotes from within for supervisory positions no matter what the employee’s education background is (this is why five point two million dollars was embezzled from DSS). Why does DSS advertise for supervisory positions if they have no intention of hiring professionals from the outside? We are tax payers and we have every right to be employed and would also be an asset to DSS and believe me DSS is in dire need of licensed professional supervisors.
What I have further witnessed relating to the South Carolina Human Services Delivery Systems is an injustice to the residents and the taxpayers. I have seen corruption and outright ineptness. For example in the treatment of alcohol and drugs, all clients should be treated in a dually diagnosed manner which can only be done by a Licensed Master of Social Work who have graduated from an accredited School of Social Work or Licensed Master of Counseling. For example an individual who becomes addicted to alcohol and/or drugs have deep seated painful unresolved psychological issues which manifests in self-destructive behavior such as having suicidal ideations and actual suicide attempts along with self-mutilation and depressive disorders just to name a few, which motivates them to use alcohol or other drugs to escape from the reality of their underlying psychological pain (It is a form of self-medicating). No one grows up saying to themselves I cannot wait to use alcohol and or any other form of drugs either being obtained illicitly or through legal prescriptions by manipulating physicians and slowly self-destructing to the point of killing themselves.
A law was passed in South Carolina that to be employed as an alcohol and drug counselor you must be alcohol and drug certified .To become a CAC(which is only a certificate) one only has to have a Bachelors degree in anything, such as business, horticulture or art to name a few. Most progressive states no longer recognize CAC counselors due to the fact they do not have the educational background or licensing to be legally allowed to treat underling psychological disorders. This law was passed to protect CAC’S employment due to their limited abilities in the treatment process. By far the paramount and the most effective way to treat the addictive client is to treat the underlying psychological disorder in conjunction with the surface addictive disorder which can only be done by licensed professionals in the field of alcohol and drug treatment. Dually diagnosed treatment is the form of treatment you see in high level treatment agencies. The citizens of South Carolina deserve to receive the highest form of treatment as opposed to profoundly low level treatment. To treat the client in any other manner is doing an injustice to the client and endangering their lives.
What I have also witnessed while working and interacting with other institutions in the field of Human Service Delivery Systems in the State of South Carolina has been horrendous. I have been a in the field of human service delivery for twenty years and I have never witnessed such poor treatment and case management in my entire career. My heart goes out to the clients and their families that have suffered and are currently suffering due to substandard care. I fervently believe that individuals and their families that have been the victims of substandard care by the South Carolina Human Service Delivery Systems should not stand by and do nothing .They should strongly notify their State Representatives and State Senators and voice their complaints and also hold their State Representatives and State Senators accountable. It is well-known and I have heard more than times I can count from my fellow citizens of South Carolina that the good old boys in Columbia would rather evade a situation and live with the status quo as opposed to correcting it. It is your right as a taxpayer to demand change. Government exists for the people and not for their political cronies. Also to be noted that the State allocates millions of dollars of our tax money each year for our substandard human service delivery systems many of which should be forensically audited along with the development of licensed professional standards for employment.
I must further strongly relate that South Carolina appoints Directors of Human Service Delivery Systems by not what they know but who they know and they are not held accountable for their ineptness. They are individuals who are politically connected who receive state director positions and supervisory positions and go from one agency to another which I refer to as playing musical chairs to the tune of ineptness and unaccountability.