Category Archives: DSS Removal of Child

DSS Safety Plan: The Ultimate Goal Must be Reunification

dss safety plan is reunificationMany times DSS asks a family to allow their children to go live with a family member while DSS completes its investigation into allegations of child abuse or neglect. This accomplished by way of a safety plan. The safety plan is to be signed by the parents, the protectors (grandparents) and DSS, and is valid for only 90 days. But the investigation must be completed within 45 days, unless this time period is extended. If the case is returned as founded,...
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Department of Social Services Relative Placement Plans

child with parent In an earlier post I noted that DSS could offer as safety plan as an alternative to removal of the child.  (See What Options Does DSS Have? Posted on January 19, 2013.)  The South Carolina Department of Social Services Safety Plan, DSS Form 3087 (SEP 12) in fact states on its face that the expected ending date is 90 days. This is a revision of the Form 3087 (DEC 08) which had no expiration...
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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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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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When Does the Department of Social Services Act?

child leaning on postIf the South Carolina Department of Social Services investigates a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, it may determine that the alleged abuser is not a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare. Recent reports in the Charleston Post and Courier illustrate this point.  An 18-year-old babysitter was charged criminally with homicide by child abuse in the death of a two-year-old in North Charleston, South Carolina, after a...
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When is DSS Removal of a Child Appropriate?

girl looking at ducks South Carolina DSS removal of a child is, many times, not in the best interests of the child.  Of course, a child who is being systematically physically or sexually abused should not remain in the care and custody of an abusive parent.  But what about an eight-year-old child from a low income family that is not getting proper nourishment or who is habitually absent from school without excuse? In an earlier post we asked “Is removal of the child called for...
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