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South Carolina Department of Social Services

V. Susan Alford, State Director  

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Skip Navigation LinksOut of Home Abuse and Neglect

The Out-of-Home Abuse and Neglect Investigations Unit (OHAN) within the Division of Human Services, receives reports and investigates allegations of abuse or neglect in foster homes, residential group homes and institutions, and child day care facilities.

What is the purpose of this service?

To determine if children living in a foster home, residential group home or institutions and receiving care and supervision in child day care facilities have been abused or neglected by their caregivers as defined by state law.

Who can receive these services?

Children who live in licensed foster homes, residential group homes or institutions, or children receiving care and supervision in child day care facilities are the recipient of these services, as well as their families, and the employees of the facilities and homes.

How are the services provided?

The OHAN Unit is located in the state office of DSS and has statewide responsibility for investigations. Reports of alleged child abuse and neglect of children in out of home settings are made to the OHAN intake office and investigations may be coordinated with state or local law enforcement and licensing regulatory entities.

During working hours (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM)

Any person wanting to make a report of suspected child abuse and neglect in an out of home setting as defined above should call: The State Office OHAN Unit at (803) 898-7669.

During Non-Business Hours

Any person wanting to report suspected report of abuse or neglect in an out of home setting should call: The toll-free number 1-800-645-9789.

This phone number is also the Children’s Helpline telephone number and it is manned 24 hours a day. This number is given to all foster children at the time they come into state’s custody and serves as a safety net for the children.

What services are provided?

If a person is found to have abused or neglected a child in an out of home setting, the person is notified of their right to appeal the decision. The facility and parents of the child involved are notified of the agency’s decision and of the impact on them. Some decisions will have related licensing issues to be addressed by the regulatory body and there may be criminal charges that are brought through law enforcement depending on the severity of the harm.


  • To Report Child or Adult Abuse and Neglect call your local county office:
  • For information on SNAP benefits, contact DSS CONNECT at 1-800-616-1309 or any local DSS office during normal business hours.
  • To report Vendor/Retailer/DSS Employee Fraud
  • Report State Agency Fraud (Office of the Inspector General)