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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Investigations Unit

Welcome to the Investigations Unit: We are here to answer the call! 

Investigations Unit logo

The Investigations Unit (IU) was created pursuant to S.C. Code of Laws Ann. Sections 63-11-2270 and 2290 which became effective July 1, 2019. Deputy Child Advocate of Investigations Kayla Capps, J.D. supervises the Department of Children’s Advocacy’s Investigations Unit, receives critical incident notifications and works with other agencies to improve services and outcomes for children. The IU can be reached through a toll-free public telephone number (1-800-206-1957) and an electronic complaint submission form on the Department of Children's Advocacy's (DCA) website (click “Submit Complaint”) for the purpose of receiving complaints relative to the services provided to children by nine state agencies:

  1. Department of Social Services
  2. Department of Mental Health
  3. Department of Juvenile Justice
  4. Department of Health and Environmental Control
  5. Department of Health and Human Services
  6. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
  7. John de la Howe School
  8. School for the Deaf and the Blind
  9. Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School

Services provided to children by a state agency: The IU receives and investigates complaints related to the provision of services to children by a state agency, reviews and monitors the complaints that reasonably cause the department to believe that a child may be in need of assistance, and ensures that the complaints are resolved.

Complaints from children in the care of the state: The IU assists children in foster care with resolving problems and concerns associated with their placement and plans for lifelong adult connections and independent living. The IU also ensures that relevant state agencies have been alerted to the complaints and helps facilitate intra-agency cooperation when needed. 

Education and awareness for the public: The IU provides information regarding services and the independent role of the department, along with the mission of state agencies in providing services to children and families.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Click here to view the most frequently asked questions. 

To submit an online complaint involving services a child receives by one of the nine above state agencies, please click here. An online complaint form is preferred to help ensure the IU has the information necessary to begin working on your concerns. If you are unable to submit an electronic complaint form, you may also call 1-800-206-1957 to file a complaint. Please leave a message if the phone is not answered, and the Investigations Unit will return your call within one business day. The Investigations Unit can also be reached at

Confidentiality: We do not accept anonymous complaints because we must be able to contact the complainant to obtain and verify necessary information. Please provide your contact information, so that we may contact you for additional information or clarification. However, you may request that we not disclose your name when communicating with others about your complaint, and the Investigations Unit will not share your identity with another agency. 

For private custody, visitation or family court matters, you may wish to contact your local Clerk of Court’s Office or speak to an attorney. If you need an attorney, you may contact the Lawyer Referral Service at 803-799-7100 if you live in Richland or Lexington Counties, or 1-800-868-2284 for all other counties.

For questions or concerns regarding the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL), Foster Care Review Board (FCRB), and Continuum of Care (COC), please contact the following:

  • FCRB – Division Director Lisa Armstrong at 803-734-0480
  • GAL – Division Director LaDara Josey at 1-800-277-0113
  • COC – Division Director Greg Wright at 803-734-4500