Does Kershaw County DSS Ignore Domestic Violence Victims?

UPDATE:  The Daily Counter has stayed up to date on Ashley Kidwell and her re-victimization by the Kershaw County System.

On Monday we were informed of the regrettable news that Ashley’s older brother Adam Yarber had passed away in her mother’s home while visiting for Mother’s Day, he was only 37.

Ashley Kidwell

As reported in the earlier article Domestic Violence Victim Re-Victimized By System, Ashley was ordered to do a week on week off visitation with her children by Judge Scott Rankin, even though Sistercare filed for an Order of Protection for her.  Ashley and her children were doing their visitation when the above event happened.

It is important to know that Ashley and her older brother were very close and always supported each other.  Other family members chose it would be best for the children to be removed from the home to shelter them from this sad event.  Unbeknown to Ashley, her Aunt Renita called Bradley Kidwell to come and retrieve Ashley’s children from the home.  Remember there is a No Contact Order that was issued in this matter as well.

Bradley Kidwell

Upon his arrival, Bradley Kidwell used Ashley’s grief and shock to coax her into his vehicle and return her and the children to his residence.  Shortly thereafter the DSS caseworker Dareisha Sowell arrived at the home with a new Safety Plan for both to sign.  It seemed that Ms. Sowell was led to believe that Ashley had returned to the marital home.  In this new Safety Plan it stated that neither parent was allowed to be with the children alone.  This new Safety Plan placed Ashley only 4 homes down from Bradley Kidwell and with someone who is friends with him.  In her state of shock from the events of the day both signed this agreement with DSS.

Later that day Ashley began to recover her senses and immediately vacated the home and returned to her safe house.  And began to assess the events of that day from her brother’s passing to her children being taken.

In most serious Domestic Abuse cases the victims have become programmed to depend on their abuser in any situation.  The Victims are made to feel that the Abuser is the only one who can help them.  This process is done slowly over time, and in this case, it appears to have been done over the many years of the relationship.

Ashley called the DSS caseworker and informed Ms. Sowell she was not coherent during the signing, due to her brother’s death and she did not agree to the Safety Plan and wanted a different place for her visitation where Mr. Kidwell would not be made aware of.  Ashley informed Ms. Sowell that she had a Domestic Abuse Advocate who was willing to facilitate a safe place for Ashley and her children during her visitation weeks.  And not in a location just 4 homes from her abuser.

Later that day Ashley was informed that her drug screening done by Allstaff in Camden had come back testing positive for Methamphetamine.  This shocked Ashley as she did not take drugs of any sort that were not prescribed.  It is also to note that Ashley had stated on numerous times that Bradley kept her on alcohol and could have added things, prior to her receiving it.  Bradley Kidwell does have a history pertaining to drug distribution and use.

The Daily Counter called several Drug Testing Companies in South Carolina and all stated the proper procedures for doing these tests.  These procedures are: that the collected hair had to be with root intact and that there was a very proper chain of custody that had to be followed.

The test that Ashley was given by Allstaff in Camden was nowhere near the requirements we were being informed about.  A LabCorp employee informed us that the root had to be collected to bring up the most recent time frame to test.  Allstaff cut Ashley’s hair approximately 1 1/2 inch from the scalp.  When we informed LapCorp of this they were shocked and instantly stated this was not the proper procedure.  Nor was the chain of custody described to LapCorp the proper procedure.

Reviews by employers such as Tina Hanes seem to be the norm for Allstaff.“Tina Hanes3 months ago–We tried to send one of our employees here for a random drug test today, he had his paperwork in hand. They were too busy with their lunch to assist him with his test. They told him they couldn’t do it, but when I called to confirm with them earlier in the day, I was told they could. I would not recommend this place for your drug testing needs.”

Allstaff in Camden

The location and upkeep of the facility might be a good indicator as to the professionalism of Allstaff.Ashley’s mother was served paperwork for Ashley on Wednesday stating that Ashley’s husband has filed for Divorce.  These papers were filed nearly 30 days prior, and the process server informed Ashley’s mother that Bradley stated they needed to be served today, two days after Ashley’s brother passed away.This is a typical tactic used in Family Courts to wait until right before a hearing to serve people with paperwork as to negate their ability to defend themselves.  What is also notable here is that Federal Procedural Due Process laws state that the individual themselves must be served.  Otherwise one could have the paperwork given to a neighbor and hope that the individual was notified.  Ashley’s mother is not a party to any case before the Kershaw Family Court, thereby violating Federal Procedural Due Process Laws.As we have heard from several people who have had dealings with Kershaw County DSS and their stories of lack of professionalism and their lack of doing a proper and full investigation.  The Daily Counter has been privy to many of the phone calls between Ms. Sowell and Ashley and has asked legal professionals about the comments made in these conversations by Ms. Sowell.  The Daily Counter received the same reply from all:  “Without a Court Order, DSS has no power to change anything.  This includes vacating a No Contact Order issued by the Courts.”We would also like to mention that the day of the initial hearing our journalist Dion McNeil drove Ashley to Allstaff to get the Court Ordered testing done and to expedite the results.  Why would a person be so willing to go and get tested if they knew they would fail such a test and jeopardize them getting their children?  Also, as Mr. Kidwell’s hair is extremely short it would be difficult to test and get accurate results, where Ashley has long hair to the small of her back.We question the fact that Allstaff failed to acquire the roots and negated the ability to test the most recent growth but instead opted to test selected portions.  Ashley is having a second drug screen done by a LabCorp facility, with the proper procedures and chain of custody.It is apparent that DSS has also filed paperwork with the Kershaw County Family Court in order to remove custody of Ashley’s children from her due to the fact she followed everything she was told to do if the abuse from her husband continued.  This is how Kershaw County DSS aids and protects Domestic Violence Victims and their children.As we have committed ourselves to continue to aid Ashley in showing the injustice she and her children are being forced to endure, we continue to help raise funds for her legal battle to protect her and her children who long for their mother.If you wish to aid in this effort you can donate here: Gofundme All money collected will be directly applied to Ashley Kidwell’s legal representation for her and her children.

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