Child Fatalities - Data Overview

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.

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.


This data does not include all child fatalities in South Carolina, but only those reported to DSS and for which DSS indicated the report for abuse and/or neglect.
Click here for a more comprehensive look at child fatalities


Not all families and children included in this data had an indicated report of abuse and neglect prior to the fatality.

As demonstrated in the chart above, there are cases in which the family was not known to the Department of Social Services through a prior indicated case. Some families only become known to the agency because of the child's death, providing no opportunity or authority for Agency intervention.

These cases indicate a critical need for the communities of South Carolina to engage in the work of child abuse prevention.

Community members and professionals are often the only individuals who have the opportunity to identify risk factors for which to provide an appropriate response.

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.