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South Carolina Department of Social Services

V. Susan Alford, State Director  

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DSS is required by state law to identify children and vulnerable adults who have been or who may be abused or neglected by their parents, guardians, caretakers or other relatives. DSS provides services to help children remain safely in their own homes when possible or to be placed in foster care when the home can not be made safe and to help vulnerable/elderly adults to have their needs met in the least restrictive environment.

  • Adult Protective Services - Adult Protective Services protects the health and welfare of elderly and disabled adults who are 18 years of age or older.
  • Domestic Violence - The Domestic Violence Program monitors and provides technical assistance to domestic violence providers, and approves all batterer intervention programs throughout the State of South Carolina as mandated by the South Carolina Code of Law Title 20 Domestic Relations Chapter 4 Section 20-4-160.
  • Child Protective Services - Child Protective Services investigates reports of and protects children from abuse or neglect within their families, in foster care, or by other persons responsible for the child’s welfare.
  • Out of Home Abuse and Neglect Investigations (OHAN) - 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 group homes, residential treatment facilities and child day care facilities. The OHAN Unit also receives reports of abuse or neglect in foster homes but the County DSS offices not responsible for licensing the foster home conducts the investigation. OHAN and the county offices follow the same procedures when investigating foster homes as for other out of home settings.
  • Central Registry - a SCDSS data system of persons determined by law to have abused or neglected a child. By law, the Registry is not publicly available. Click here for information about consent to a Central Registry background check.
  • Safe Haven for Abandoned Infants (Daniel’s Law) - If you are concerned about being able to care for your newborn baby, state law provides alternatives to abandoning your baby. One alternative is under the Safe Haven for Abandoned Infants Act or Daniel’s Law.
  • Foster Care Services - Foster care is 24 hour substitute care for all children placed away from their parent(s) or guardian(s) and for whom the State agency has placement and care responsibility.
  • Intensive Foster Care and Clinical Services - Intensive Foster Care and Clinical Services, a division of the SC Dept of Social Services, is the therapeutic treatment division of foster care. The Intensive Foster Care and Clinical Services mission statement is to enhance the emotional and social well-being of children in the least restrictive, most appropriate, normalized, community environment through intensive case management while promoting safety, health and permanency.

Hotlines

  • 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)