Jill Lawson – Director of Case Management

Jill has eight years of experience working with children and adolescents in many different capacities including case management, counseling, health classes and life skills.  She was a volunteer at Palmetto Place for a few years before she joined the board of directors and was hired part-time as a social worker and counselor.  Jill comes to Palmetto Place from Richland School District Two where she served as a school social worker.  Jill also teaches courses for the College of Social Work at USC, and has a Westie named Maggie who knows the Palmetto Place house as if it were her own.

Essence Jackson- Case Manager

Essence graduated from the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina in 2016, where she earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. She took the licensure exam before graduating, giving her the new title of LMSW. Essence began working with Palmetto Place as a social work intern and was hired as a new case manager upon the shelter’s expansion.


Grace Bennett – Project Coordinator 

Grace moved to South Carolina from Michigan to attend the University of South Carolina. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with emphases in Advertising and Business Administration in 2015. In college, Grace found her passion for helping others through Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority. She continues to serve her passion by volunteering with local charities, including Palmetto Lifeline and Columbia Opportunity Resources.


Mary Kelley

Jennifer Hemphill

Vera Turner

Jackie Alexander

Matilda Johnson

LeConte Turner

Gloria Hooks


Additional to the 7 full-time houseparent’s there are also 15 part-time child care specialists. These specialists are responsible for the daily physical and emotional care-giving of the child residents at Palmetto Place 24 hours a day.


Please click for current employment opportunities at Palmetto Place.