What is child abuse?
A child is abused or neglected when he/she is injured by the intentional acts or omissions of an adult.

Below are examples of abuse and neglect:

  • physical or mental injury
  • excessive corporal punishment
  • sexual offenses
  • failure to supply food, clothing, shelter, education or medical care
  • abandonment
  • encouraging delinquency
  • substantial risk of abuse or neglect

How to report child abuse: 

Call the Department of Social Services (DSS) if the suspected perpetrator is:

  • child’s parent, guardian or foster parent
  • operator, employee or caregiver of a public or private residential home, institution, agency or childcare facility
  • adult who has assumed the role of or responsibility of a parent or guardian for the child (does not necessarily have legal custody)

Report to local law enforcement if the suspected perpetrator is not responsible for the child’s welfare. Examples include occasional babysitter, neighbor, stranger, leader in youth organization, family member other than parent, guardian or foster parent.

Local contact numbers:

Beaufort County:   DSS 843.255.6143, Sheriff 843.524.2777
Jasper County:        DSS 843.726.7747, Sheriff 843.726.7777
Colleton County:    DSS 843.549.1894, Sheriff 843.549.7144
Allendale County:  DSS 803.584.7048, Sheriff 803.584.7067
Hampton County:  DSS 803.943.3641, Sheriff 803.914.2200

If a child is in imminent danger, please call 911.

If you are unable to reach a local department, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD. For almost 30 years, Childhelp’s National Child Abuse Hotline has helped connect individuals with the information or people they need as they confront child abuse in their lives, whether they are a child, parent, teacher or a concerned school administrator.