A second lawsuit has now been filed against the Boys Home of the South, slightly more than three months after the state’s child welfare agency settled a prior lawsuit against the now-closed foster home.
The lawsuit announced Tuesday by the Hite & Stone law firm in Abbeville and Camden Law Firm in Kershaw County accuse the Upstate foster home of neglecting the handling or reporting of an alleged sexual abuse case involving a child in their care more than a decade ago.
According to a press release issued by both law firms (which also filed the May 2013 lawsuit), the suit names the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the Boys Home of South Carolina, along with supervisors, the accused suspect, and staff. The Boys Home of the South closed in April around the same time DSS settled the earlier lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims a foster child in DSS custody had been placed at the home for about a year when the abuse took place. The lawsuit states the boy was 12 when a house parent sexually assaulted and sexually tortured him. The boy complained to supervisors and staff, but no actions were taken, the lawsuit claims.
DSS officials did not comment on the lawsuit beyond a brief statement emailed to news outlets. “The allegations made in this recently filed lawsuit are said to have occurred almost a decade ago and DSS will release its official response when it is completed and submitted to the court,” the email stated. “As always, we will never stop fighting to protect the at-risk children of our state and will continue our constant efforts to secure safe and nurturing placements for the most vulnerable among us.”
DSS settled the other case involving a child at the home in April. In that case, one boy was accused of sexually assaulting another while both were in the care of the home. That lawsuit alleged that DSS officials knew of prior assaults by the same boy and the caseworker found no safety issues or concerns in the group home.