Child Fatalities Indicated as Abuse and Neglect by DSS
The Department of Social Services brings awareness to the complex societal problem of child fatalities caused by child 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 State Law Enforcement Division, Department of Health and Environmental Control, 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.
Child fatalities reported on this website include only those that, through a Child Protective Services investigation, SCDSS determined that child maltreatment more likely than not caused the child fatality. The data published here provides the community with valuable insight into SCDSS’s involvement with the families who have experienced an indicated maltreatment fatality. Currently, South Carolina State Statute 63-7-940 limits the department’s ability to provide information related to unfounded reports. The data and information on this website is subject to change based on new information received from the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee, other professionals, as well as further analyzed data.
SCDSS, with its partners including SLED, local coroners, child abuse pediatricians, and the SCFAC, regularly analyze our policies and practices in the aftermath of child fatalities for identification of needed policy and practice change. It is vital to the success of these efforts that communities, agencies and organizations join SCDSS in targeting and improving services to families to reduce the risk of harm to children.
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 SCDSS in improving interventions and provide appropriate resources to strengthen these families and ensure the safety of children.
State Statutes for other Agencies and Committees Investigating and Reporting Child Fatalities
- South Carolina Coroner’s Association: South Carolina Coroners and Medical Examiners: South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 17, Chapter 5
- Department of Health and Environmental Control: South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 44, Chapter 63
- South Carolina Child Fatality Advisory Committee: South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 63, Chapter 11, Article 19
Links to further information on Child Fatalities and Related Issues
- South Carolina Coroner’s Association
- SC Death Statistics (SCAN home page)
- DHEC Infant Mortality annual report
- DHEC Interactive application providing access to the most recent SC death statistics (SCAN home page)
- South Carolina Child Fatality Advisory Committee