South Carolina state law requires the reporting of any suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The Child Protection Reform Act requires the reporting of any suspected abuse or neglect occurring to a child, age 17 and under. The Omnibus Adult Protection Act requires the reporting of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, age 18 and above.

A Vulnerable Adult is defined as any person, age 18 and above, who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs the person from adequately providing for his/her own care or protection. A resident of a facility or a person, age 18 and above receiving services from DDSN or its contract provider agencies is a vulnerable adult.

The appropriate reporting agency is determined by the age of the victim, suspected perpetrator, and the location of the alleged incident.


When the Alleged Victim is a Child:

When the abuse or neglect of a child is suspected, a report must be made to the Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-888 CARE4US (1-888-227-3487).  This telephone number may be used, regardless of the child’s living arrangements.


When the Alleged Victim is an Adult:

Residential Settings: For adults living in a DDSN Operated or Contracted Residential Setting, an allegation of Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation must be reported to the SLED Vulnerable Adult Investigations Unit (VAIU) at 1-866-200-6066. SLED VAIU will then decide how the incident/allegations will be investigated.

Alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation to a vulnerable adult in any residential program operated by or contracted for operation by DDSN shall be reported to SLED’s toll-free number (1-866-200-6066) by the person who has actual knowledge, or reason to believe, that a vulnerable adult has been or is likely to be abused, neglected, or exploited.

Community Settings (including Day Services locations): For adults living in settings other than DDSN operated/contracted settings, allegations of ANE must be reported to DSS APS at 1-888-CARE4US. Allegations may also be reported to Local Law Enforcement.

When the suspected abuse or neglect of an adult occurs in any location other than a residential setting operated or contracted for operation by DDSN, a report must be made to the DSS Abuse and Neglect Reporting Hotline. DSS operates a 24-hour Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-888 CARE4US (1-888-227-3487).

When in Doubt, Report!


ANE Reporting: Lessons Learned (PDF)

Public Awareness ANE Reporting Flyer (PDF)

Financial Exploitation Brochure (PDF)

Reporting Abuse (PDF)

Duty To Report (PDF)

DDSN Directive 534-02-DD (PDF)


DDSN has the following resources available to assist providers in training staff about the reporting requirements and for allegations of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation:

Mandatory Reporting of Abuse and Neglect for Special Needs (Children)

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Making a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect to South Carolina Department of Social Services

South Carolina Child Abuse Response Protocol Training


The Omnibus Adult Protection Act

ANE Training Manual - OAPA (PDF)

OAPA Training Handouts (PDF)

OAPA Mandated Reporter Training (PDF)


DSS Adult Protective Services: What, When and How to Report

APS What When and How Printable Handouts (PDF)

APS What When and How (PDF)


National Center on Elder Abuse Disability information:

NCEA Adults with a Disability Research Brief (PDF)


National Center on Elder Abuse: Abuse in Long-Term Care Information:

NCEA LTCF Research Brief (PDF)