The South Carolina Department of Social Services provides many functions for the most vulnerable of our state. Children have important rights, and some must depend on DSS to protect those rights, to include acting quickly to investigate reports of abuse.
There have been numerous instances where DSS has failed children by not taking prompt action after receiving information about the welfare of a child, and many children have suffered serious injuries as a result. DSS is not immune from lawsuits in many circumstances, and you can seek relief if you or a loved one have suffered injury due to the failure of DSS to take action.
The Hite Law Firm has extensive experience in DSS cases, holding the agency responsible for failing to act when necessary. Contact our child abuse attorneys in South Carolina to seek accountability from the state for the harm it could have prevented to your child.
DSS in South Carolina Owes a Duty of Care to Children
The mission of DSS is to protect children from harm. The agency owes children a duty of care to conduct prompt and accurate investigations after reports of abuse.
State law requires DSS to begin an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a report of an endangered child. However, DSS caseworkers often fail to meet this deadline, and children are the ones who suffer.
A child’s physical safety depends on quick action. When DSS is contacted, the agency must act quickly because the child is often in immediate danger.
South Carolina DSS Has Not Always Acted As Required By the Law
DSS has 45 days to complete an investigation after first receiving an initial report. Time is of the essence to spare children from physical harm. DSS must take action to remove children from dangerous situations. Even if DSS completes its investigation, it may not have been in enough time to save a child from grievous harm.
DSS workers have heavy caseloads that they often cannot properly manage. A recent federal lawsuit filed on behalf of eleven children who were abused in the state’s foster care system alleged that the extremely high caseloads of social workers violated the children’s civil rights.
Children have a right to be free from abuse. DSS workers cannot protect children when they simply do not have the time, no matter how well-intentioned they are.
Even though DSS is a state agency, it is possible to file a lawsuit against them. DSS has waived its sovereign immunity. You can file a lawsuit if you are alleging that DSS was grossly negligent in failing to remove a child from a home where they were endangered. You must follow special rules, however, when filing a lawsuit against a government agency and our lawyers know those rules and will help you navigate the system.
You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Deliver Justice
It is not always easy to take on DSS. When you accuse the government of letting harm befall your child, you may get an explanation that is far from the truth. The agency wants to protect itself. You need an experienced attorney who knows how to take on this type of bureaucracy effectively.
DSS may take you far more seriously when the agency sees that you have hired a lawyer, especially one who has a track record of holding it accountable and has been victorious in court representing children and their families. Like any business entity, DSS is equally afraid of garnering embarrassing headlines as it is to losing lawsuits. If you want answers, let us help you.
Why Hire the Hite Law Firm?
The Hite Law Firm has filed several lawsuits over the years against DSS on behalf of children who were failed by the agency’s gross negligence. We have helped our clients receive financial recovery from the state when it failed to take the necessary action to protect children.
Attorney Heather Stone handles many of these types of cases in South Carolina. DSS knows of her reputation, and she continues to seek justice for children that the agency has failed.
Contact a South Carolina DSS Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
When you must stand up to the government agency that has failed a child, contact the Hite Law Firm in South Carolina. We will get right to work to help get results and possibly financial compensation for an injured child whom the SC DSS let down. You first need to reach out to us to discuss the child’s case and learn more about your legal options. We offer free consultations to prospective clients.