Mandated reporting

South Carolina identifies certain professionals as mandated reporters. Mandated reporters must report when, in their professional capacity, they have reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.

If the mandated reporter has reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected by a parent, guardian or person responsible for a child’s welfare, reports must be made to the Department of Social Services (DSS) office or law enforcement agency in the county in which the child resides.

If the mandated reporter has reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected by someone other than a parent, guardian or person responsible for a child’s welfare, reports must be made to a law enforcement agency in the county in which the child resides.

As with all reports of abuse or neglect, the identity of the reporter will remain confidential. A reporter acting in good faith (with reason to believe there is child endangerment) is immune from civil and criminal liability.

Who is defined as a mandated reporter?

By South Carolina Law [63-7-310] the following professionals are required to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect:

  • Physicians, nurses, dentists, optometrists
  • Medical examiners, coroners and their employees
  • Any other medical, emergency medical services, mental health or allied professionals
  • Clergy, Christian Science practitioners, religious healers (Note: The exception to reporting when information is received from the alleged perpetrator of the abuse or neglect during a communication that is protected by the clergy and penitent privilege as provided in Section 19-11-90.)
  • School teachers, counselors, principals, assistant principals
  • Social or public assistance workers
  • Substance abuse treatment staff
  • Child care workers in day care centers and foster care facilities
  • Judges
  • Police or law enforcement officers including school truancy officers
  • Non-attorney volunteer guardians ad litem
  • Foster parents
  • Undertakers, funeral home directors and employees
  • Persons responsible for photo or film processing
  • Juvenile justice workers
  • Computer technicians

For more information on mandated reporting or training please contact University of South Carolina Children’s Law Center at 803-777-1646.

Making a report

Those who make a report in good faith are protected from civil and criminal liability under South Carolina law. “In good faith” means that the reporter has a genuine reason to believe that a child may have been abused or neglected. Proof is not required.

Your suspicion of child abuse or neglect is enough to make a report. You are not required to provide proof. South Carolina law protects people who make good faith reports of child abuse.


Other resources

  • Information for Mandatory Reporters - PDF
    Children’s Law Center - University of South Carolina