Household of Victoria Smith hoping for DSS reform by means of petition

Ariel Robinson’s trial is set to start May 9.The Upstate woman is charged in connection with the death of her foster daughter, Victoria Smith.The great aunt of Victoria Smith is still wondering what could have been more than a year later since her death. Now she hopes with the help of South Carolina lawmakers more kids can be saved. Prosecutors say little Victoria Smith was beaten to death by Robinson while she was in foster care. South Carolina’s Department of Social Services had taken the child into child protective custody when she was just a baby. She and her brothers were about to be adopted by the Robinsons when she died.Victoria Smith’s great aunt Michelle Urps believes some changes could have saved Victoria’s life “Our family is very staunch on the belief that the DSS system doesn’t need to be dismantled . It is there for a reason and there are children that need to be saved,” Urps said. “But there are some gaps, there are some cracks. And this tragedy happened because of those gaps and cracks and that’s the part we want to see fixed.”Food Network star Ariel Robinson is charged with homicide by child abuse. Earlier this month, her husband pled guilty to a lesser charge and is cooperating. “We are thankful he has cooperated with the prosecution and is working with them to make sure Ariel is held responsible to the fullest extent South Carolina law allows for this case. We just wished he would have done something sooner,” Urps said Meanwhile, Victoria’s family created a petition calling for changes to how DSS chooses foster parents. “We’re 50,000 strong here and saying this should not have happened and here is the things we have seen in the system that are flawed and we would like to work with you to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Urps said. They believe these three changes will be key: more thorough screening processincreasing surprise visitsconducting psychological evaluations of prospective foster parentsWYFF reached out to DSS received the following statement:”Surprise visits can come in response to complaints and reports into our abuse and neglect intake hub. Additional funding for additional staff may be required to meet a growing workload.”No matter what happens, Urps is determined. “Victoria is not the first child and she hasn’t been the last one. There have been deaths since then within the system. But we’re doing our best to stop that and we’re doing it in Victoria’s honor,” Urps said .Urps said that it will be full steam ahead to get Victoria’s law to Columbia once the trial is over. You can read the entire petition here.

Ariel Robinson’s trial is set to start May 9.

The Upstate woman is charged in connection with the death of her foster daughter, Victoria Smith.

The great aunt of Victoria Smith is still wondering what could have been more than a year later since her death.

Now she hopes with the help of South Carolina lawmakers more kids can be saved.

Prosecutors say little Victoria Smith was beaten to death by Robinson while she was in foster care. South Carolina’s Department of Social Services had taken the child into child protective custody when she was just a baby. She and her brothers were about to be adopted by the Robinsons when she died.

Victoria Smith’s great aunt Michelle Urps believes some changes could have saved Victoria’s life

“Our family is very staunch on the belief that the DSS system doesn’t need to be dismantled. It is there for a reason and there are children that need to be saved,” Urps said. “But there are some gaps, there are some cracks. And this tragedy happened because of those gaps and cracks and that’s the part we want to see fixed.”

Food Network star Ariel Robinson is charged with homicide by child abuse. Earlier this month, her husband pled guilty to a lesser charge and is cooperating.

“We are thankful he has cooperated with the prosecution and is working with them to make sure Ariel is held responsible to the fullest extent South Carolina law allows for this case. We just wished he would have done something sooner,” Urps said.

In the meantime, Victoria’s family created a petition calling for changes to how DSS chooses foster parents.

“We’re 50,000 strong here and saying this should not have happened and here is the things we have seen in the system that are flawed and we would like to work with you to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Urps said.

They believe these three changes will be key:

  • more thorough screening process
  • increasing surprise visits
  • conducting psychological evaluations of prospective foster parents

WYFF reached out to DSS received the following statement:

“Surprise visits can come in response to complaints and reports into our abuse and neglect intake hub. Additional funding for additional staff may be required to meet a growing workload.”

No matter what happens, Urps is determined.

“Victoria is not the first child and she hasn’t been the last one. There have been deaths since then within the system. But we’re doing our best to stop that and we’re doing it in Victoria’s honor,” Urps said .

Urps said that it will be full steam ahead to get Victoria’s law to Columbia once the trial is over.

You can read the entire petition here.

Comments are closed.