Union County DSS case sparks Meck Co. to ask questions - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Union County DSS case sparks Meck Co. to ask questions


A Mecklenburg County Commissioner says she's asking questions to make sure what happened with a Union County DSS supervisor doesn't happen in Mecklenburg County.

Union County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Wanda Larson last month after a child for whom she was the legal guardian was found allegedly handcuffed to the front porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

Larson - and her partner, Dorian Harper - have been charged with child abuse.

The couple had four adopted children and the 11 year old who was found handcuffed - living with them. Deputies say the house was in a deplorable condition. The children have been placed in foster care outside of Union County.

Union County officials have fired Larson from her position as DSS Supervisor.

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Vilma Leake is requesting a staff briefing from Mecklenburg DSS.

According to the agenda for Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Leake wants the following questions answered:

"1.     What role/responsibility does the Department of Social Services (DSS) Director have to ensure that all staff members who work with adoption and foster care of children are following proper policies and to make sure that what happened in Union County does not happen in Mecklenburg County?

2.      What policy and process does Mecklenburg County currently practice to guarantee security of children in the County system?

3.      What is the policy and procedure for DSS staff members who are the guardians of foster and adopted children?

4.      What types of ongoing "quality assurance" business practices are in place to ensure DSS staff members continue to follow policies and procedures when dealing with the adoption and foster care of children?

5.      Are background investigations for DSS social workers required after employment?

6.      Have Mecklenburg County DSS encountered any similar incident(s) exactly like or similar to the recent Union County DSS case?"

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