SC Senate confirms head of child welfare services agency

April 18, 2019 - 7:35 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers have confirmed Michael Leach of Tennessee to head the state's child welfare agency.

Senators gave final approval to Gov. Henry McMaster's pick Thursday evening with a vote of 44-0.

Last month , McMaster nominated Leach to head the Department of Social Services after what he called an "exhaustive and inclusive" nationwide search. The position became vacant last year when the previous director retired.

Leach is a mental health clinician and has more than 10 years of experience with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, including service as its deputy commissioner for child programs.

The agency has struggled in recent years with large caseloads for agents investigating abuse cases. It also is grappling with an unwieldy child support system that had tens of millions of dollars of cost overruns.

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