How to Report Child Abuse

To report a potential case of child abuse or neglect, immediately contact the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). Staff will assist the person making the report and assess the information provided to determine if an investigation is necessary. 

CALL the 24-HR Abuse & Neglect Statewide Reporting Hotline: 1-888-CARE4US (1-888-227-3487)

Mandated Reporters

South Carolina law requires that certain professionals report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, because they have unique opportunities to observe and interact with children. The following professionals are mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect:

  • Healthcare professionals: physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists, medical examiners or coroners, emergency medical services, mental health or allied health professionals
  • Educational professionals: teachers, counselors, principals, assistant principals, school attendance officers
  • Foster parents
  • Child care workers in a child care center or foster care facility
  • Social or public assistance professionals
  • Substance abuse treatment staff
  • Legal professionals: police or law enforcement officers, juvenile justice workers, judges, volunteer non-attorney guardians ad litem serving on behalf of the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem program or on behalf of Richland County CASA
  • Clergy, including Christian Science Practitioners or religious healers, clerical or non-clerical religious counselors that charge for services
  • Undertakers, funeral home directors, or their employees
  • Computer technicians, film processors

However, the law encourages all persons to report.