Due to the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the protection of the health and safety of South Carolinians, Center for Child and Family Studies staff members are working remotely. The best way to reach us is by email.

Quality Assurance Reviews


QA ReviewsThe focus of Quality Assurance Reviews is to ensure services rendered to children and families by the child welfare system are of sufficient intensity, scope, and quality to meet their needs. Review findings are presented to counties through a facilitated discussion process, which allows counties to develop plans for program improvement. The Center’s work with QA reviews is part of our commitment to enhancing the capacity of organizations like DSS that serve children and families.

Working in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS), we use the federal On-Site Review Instrument (OSRI) to review DSS foster care and family preservation cases. The instrument evaluates adherence to state and federal policies related to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in the child welfare system. In addition, QA reviews include a sample of foster care licenses, screened out CPS allegations, and unfounded CPS reports, as required to meet state statute.

South Carolina’s QA process is implemented using staff teams, with team members being provided by both DSS and the Center. Our teams are composed of professionals who have many years of experience in child welfare and quality assurance.

Review Process

  • While state law requires a review of each county at least once every five years, DSS has chosen to review each county at least once per year.
  • Each review lasts one week.
  • Teams examine case files, review administrative data, and conduct interviews with key persons from the case (caseworker, foster parent, biological parent, child).


  • A detailed sampling process is used to select cases for review.
  • Qualitative and quantitative data are included.
  • Results are reported to the federal government to track progress over time.
  • Each county gets a report summarizing qualitative and quantitative data for all cases reviewed. The report includes the areas of strength and the areas needing improvement.
  • Data are used on the state level to inform training, practice, and policy.