Child Protective Services

Purpose of Child Protective Services

Protective services are legally mandated, non-voluntary services for families that encompass specialized services for maltreated children (abused, neglected, and/or dependent) and those who are at imminent risk of harm due to the actions of, or lack of protection by, the child’s parent or caregiver. Child Protective Services, provided by county Departments of Social Services, are designed to protect children from further harm and to support and improve parental/caregiver abilities in order to assure a safe and nurturing home for each child. Generally, such services provided in the homes of these families are preventive, rehabilitative, and nonpunitive with efforts directed toward identifying and remedying the causes of the maltreating behavior. This is accomplished through parent/caregiver cooperation and consent or, in the event conditions pose serious issues for the child's safety, through the agency's petition to the court.

North Carolina Division of Social Services Family Services Manual Volume I: Children's Services Chapter VIII: Child Protective Services

Duty to Report - Legal Requirements for the Public

N.C.G. S. §7B-302(b) is North Carolina’s mandatory reporting law that states " Any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, as defined by N.C.G.S. §7B-301, or has died as the result of maltreatment, shall report the case of that juvenile to the director of the department of social services in the county where the juvenile resides or is found." The intent of this legislation is to encourage reporting to the proper authority situations in which children may be at risk. It does not require that the reporter possess any information beyond a cause to suspect abuse or neglect. The reporter is not required to have witnessed the abuse or neglect or to have firsthand knowledge.

A person who makes a report of suspected child abuse, neglect, or dependency is immune from civil or criminal liability, if the report was made in good faith according to N.C.G.S. §7B-309. This statute also guarantees immunity to anyone who cooperates with DSS in its CPS assessment, testifies in any court action resulting from the report, or participates in authorized procedures or programs for screening and responding to reports of abuse, neglect, or dependency.

North Carolina Division of Social Services Family Services Manual Volume I: Children's Services Chapter VIII: Child Protective Services

To make a report of abuse, neglect, or dependency during agency work hours please contact the Scotland County Department of Social Services at 910-277-2525 extension 3366.

To make a report of abuse, neglect, or dependency during non agency work hours please contact 911.

The Scotland County Department of Social Services is responsible for licensing foster homes inScotlandCounty.  The state has requirements and standards that foster families are obligated to uphold in order for their home to remain licensed.  Families are required to complete a 30 hour training course in order to become a licensed home.  The state ofNorth Carolinarequires many other standards pertaining to licensing.  These standards must be completed before the home can be licensed as a foster home inNorth Carolina.  If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a licensed foster parent please contact the agency.