About: Ellen Babb

Graves H. Wilson, Jr. worked as a staff attorney for the South Carolina Department of Social Services in Dorchester County, South Carolina from 2005 to 2011. He now represents clients involved in DSS cases--parents, grandparents, or other interested parties. He practices state-wide and accepts cases in all South Carolina counties.

Recent Posts by Ellen Babb

Custodians and Intervention in DSS cases

Band-aides support This is a true  story about a custodian of a child involving DSS in a South Carolina case. Confidentiality mandates preclude identifying any of the participants. A family court judge recently granted a woman’s (referred to herein as “custodian”) motion to intervene and ordered DSS to return a (female) child which had been wrongfully removed by DSS.  There are two points in play here. First, the custodian was not the child’s parent and was not named by DSS as a party...
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Is the Identity of Someone Reporting Child Abuse in South Carolina Confidential?

police responding to child abuse The identity of the person making a report of  suspected child abuse or neglect to any agency, such as law enforcement or DSS, must be kept confidential by the agency receiving the report and may only be disclosed in special circumstances. These include:

   1.  When the department refers a report to a law enforcement agency for a criminal investigation, the department must inform the law enforcement agency of the identity of the person who reported the child...

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South Carolina DSS Doesn’t Always Get it Right!

South Carolina DSS-Not always right The South Carolina Department of Social Services ("DSS") isn't always right. There are at least 97 separate South Carolina code sections directly related to child protection and permanency.  This does not include code sections and regulations governing ancillary matters, such as health related issues. Consequently, DSS does not always get it right. Rest assured your case is not necessarily hopeless. Case in point:  South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Randy S., et al, 390 S.C. 100, 700 S.E.2d...
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What Options Does DSS Have?

Child South Carolina Department of Social Services has three options once it finds probable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. First, in a relatively minor infraction, such as excessive corporal punishment, it can offer in-home services without court involvement by way of a safety plan.  The safety plan is essentially a contract between DSS and the parents whereby the parents agree to comply with a treatment plan, and DSS allows the children to remain in the home.  The safety...
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Does DSS Always Remove a Child When It Suspects Abuse?

child being taken away The South Carolina Department of Social Services ("DSS") does not always remove an abused or neglected child from his parents. South Carolina law clearly states that the goal is to protect the child from further abuse or neglect and to remedy any physical, emotional, or psychological harm the child may have suffered.  Maybe the threat can be removed, instead. South Carolina DSS is not a therapeutic agency, and has no qualified treatment professionals...
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