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SC Senate panel approve nominee to head child welfare agency

April 10, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Some South Carolina lawmakers have given preliminary approval to Gov. Henry McMaster’s pick to head the state’s child welfare agency.

Members of a Senate panel voted unanimously in favor of sending the nomination of Michael Leach of Tennessee to the full Senate for final confirmation.

Last month, McMaster nominated Leach to head the Department of Social Services after what he called an “exhaustive and inclusive” nationwide search.

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.

Leach has more than 10 years of experience with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services including service as its deputy commissioner for child programs.

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