Child Fatalities

Child Fatalities Indicated as Abuse and Neglect by DSS

Every number reflected on this website represents a child’s life tragically taken and a loss to a family, a community and South Carolina's future. DSS brings awareness to the complex societal problem of child fatalities indicated as abuse and neglect by providing information on the factors surrounding and contributing to these fatalities and providing information on the department's activities in each case.

Child fatalities reported on this website do not include all child deaths in South Carolina. This child fatality data cannot be directly compared to the data produced by other agencies such as SLED, DHEC, or the South Carolina Child Fatality Advisory Committee (SCFAC). In many cases, each department’s reports are dictated by the purpose and goals of the report and the restrictions imposed by state statutes.

The Department of Social Services is charged with investigating reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Therefore, the child fatalities reported on this website are only those cases that the department has indicated for abuse or neglect. Definitions for abuse and neglect are outlined in the Children’s Code Title 63, Chapter 7.

Indicated means the Department of Social Services, after an investigation, has concluded that more likely than not, abuse or neglect caused the child fatality.

Currently, South Carolina State Statute limits the department’s ability to provide information related to unfounded reports.

In order to provide a broader view of the history and characteristics present in Child Fatalities cases, DSS has proposed amendments to this statute that would allow disclosure of information related to unfounded cases in order to better inform the public about the child fatalities indicated as abuse and neglect by DSS.

The data and information on this website is subject to change based on new information received from the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee and other professionals.

Often high risk families are touched by many organizations and individuals with the opportunity to change the course of their lives. With the information this website provides, agencies, communities and organizations can join DSS in improving interventions and provide appropriate resources to strengthen these families and ensure the safety of children.

DSS, with its partners, regularly analyzes cases of child fatalities caused by abuse neglect for identification of needed policy and practice change. It is vital to the success of these efforts that communities, agencies and organizations join DSS in targeting and improving services to families to reduce the risk of abuse to children.


 State Statutes for other Agencies and Committees Investigating and Reporting Child Fatalities

 Links to further information on Child Fatalities and Related Issues