Tag Archives: Child Abuse

But I’m Their Mother! They Need Me!

mothers and dssI cannot begin to count the times that I have heard a client (usually the mother) say, “How can DSS take my children from me?  I am their mother.  They need me!”  And I usually agree. They do need their mother.  And quickly, or irreparable harm can come from extended separation.  A primary concern of child welfare advocates (and mine) is the separation anxiety that children always feel when they are taken into emergency protective custody by DSS.  I can help you get...
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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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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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Department of Social Services is Knocking on My Door!

Girl outsideWhat do you do when Child Protective Services comes knocking at your door? First of all, assess your position. Remain reasonable and calm, and know that anything you say or do may later be used to either help or harm you. Less talk and more listening may be best course of action until you have legal representation. You should know what has been alleged against you. South Carolina Code Section 62-7-20 delineates those requirements. “Child abuse or neglect" or "harm" occurs when the parent, guardian, or...
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