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Michael Leach

Michael Leach currently serves as the State Director for the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS), where he plays a pivotal role in leading and shaping social services across the state. With a career marked by a deep commitment to the well-being of children and families, Mr. Leach brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role.

Prior to his confirmation by the South Carolina State Senate on April 18, 2019 as State Director at DSS, Mr. Leach dedicated over a decade of his professional life to the Department of Children's Services in Tennessee. In his capacity there, he held various significant positions, each contributing to his extensive knowledge of the field. Notably, he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Child Programs, where he played a vital role in shaping policies and programs that directly impacted the lives of children in need. 

Mr. Leach's previous roles included leadership in a diverse array of operations, including as the Executive Director of the Office of Continuous Quality Improvement, Director of Performance and Quality Improvement, Director of Independent Living, and Director of Systems Integration. In each of these positions, he consistently demonstrated his commitment to improving the quality and effectiveness of services provided to vulnerable youth and families. Before his involvement with government child welfare agencies, Mr. Leach previously served at the Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic in Tennessee, where he honed his skills in supporting young individuals in their mental health journeys. His experience also encompasses facilitating crisis response services at a community mental health center and managing cases in congregate care, adding a holistic perspective to his understanding of the social services landscape.

With an exceptional career spanning the public and non-profit sectors, Mr. Leach continues to lead by example, fostering positive change in the lives of thousands of children and families throughout South Carolina. His dedication to innovation, quality improvement, and compassionate leadership makes him a driving force in the realm of social services. 

Don Grant, Deputy State Director

Adult Advocacy
Kelly Cordell, Director
(803) 898-7654

Agency Quality Assurance and CQI
Suzanne Sutphin, Director 
(803) 360-5746

Chief Financial Officer
Susan Roben

Chief Transformation Officer
Steven Ferrufino
(803) 898-1805

Child Support Services
Tim Mose, Director
(803) 898-9240

Child Welfare Services
Emily Medere, Deputy State Director
(803) 898-1370

Chief External Affairs Officer/Legislative Liaison
Connelly-Anne Ragley 
(803) 898-4357

Will Batchelor, Director

Data, Accountability and Research
Diana Tester, Director
(803) 898-7880

Economic Services
Amber Gillum, Deputy State Director
(803) 898-7474

General Counsel
Tony Catone
(803) 898-7368

Human Resources
Glenise Elmore, Director
(803) 898-1912

Individual and Provider Rights
Chip Payne, Director
(803) 898-8080

Information Technology
Jose Encarnacion, Director
(803) 724-5325

Inspector General
Sean Fay
(803) 898-8017

Internal Audits
Beth Adkins, Director
(803) 898-7458

Professional Development and Innovation
Garry James, Director
(803) 734-1398

For general information or assistance, contact Constituent Services at 803-898-7601.
If you are a member of the media seeking an interview, data, or information on our various programs, please contact us at or call 803-898-7602.

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Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.