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The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Re: Best Legal Practices in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases


I find that the Family Court Bench Bar Committee, upon recommendation of the S.C. Governor’s Task Force on Children in Foster Care and Adoption Services, developed guidelines known as "Best Legal Practices in Abuse and Neglect Cases."

Best Legal Practices (BLP) serves as a reference guide for judges, attorneys, clerks of court, Guardians ad Litem, caseworkers and others who may be involved in child welfare proceedings.  BLP is intended to promote uniformity in processing child abuse and neglect cases statewide.

The Family Court Bench Bar Committee developed BLP with input from interested groups including but not limited to the Family Court Judges Advisory Committee, Family Court Docketing Committee, University of South Carolina Children's Law Center, S.C. Department of Social Services, S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense, S.C. Guardian ad Litem Program and the Catawba Indian Nation.

Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,

IT IS ORDERED that BLP is recommended for use as a reference guide in S.C. Family Courts and may be updated as needed due to legislative or policy changes. BLP will be available on the South Carolina Judicial Department website at and the University of South Carolina Children's Law Center website at

s/Donald W. Beatty                                   
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina


Columbia, South Carolina
May 31, 2018