DSS Role in Child Neglect Cases

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News 12 at 6 o'clock; April 17, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. --- News 12 did some digging into what the South Carolina Department of Social Services does in cases involving child neglect.

We do know, from an incident report, this is not the first time at least one of the four children have been placed into protective custody and out of the home of Susie and Benjamin Robinson.

However, the number of times a child leaves the home is not a benchmark for whether DSS asks that a child not be returned home. That information would be a significant factor in the recommendation.

While the judge in a DSS custody case is a neutral decision maker, he does look at evidence from all sides and decides whether or not DSS has proven its case.

In the Robinson's case, the judge stated the Robinson's could have their children back, but DSS will be monitoring them on a weekly basis. They will also be providing services to the Robinson's. Those services will be tailored to the Robinson's needs.

Overall, according to the South Carolina Statute, "The court shall not order that a child be removed from the custody of the parent or guardian unless the court finds that the allegations of the petition are supported by the preponderance of evidence including a finding that the child is an abused or neglected child."