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Bshs 408 Letter

Autor:   •  December 14, 2016  •  Creative Writing  •  659 Words (3 Pages)  •  98 Views

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BSHS/408

December 11, 2016

Nikki G. Setzler

510 Gressette Bldg.

Columbia 29201

Dear Mr. Setzler:

        I am writing to address the Emergency Protective Custody law of South Carolina, coded section 63-7-620. This law allows police to take children into emergency protective custody for numerous reasons, such as abuse and a threat to the children’s lives, if the officer feels there is a crucial need to remove children form the care of the parents or caretakers. While this law is still in effect, I have some concerns of the long term impacts that removals may have on some children and if police are properly trained to know when the removal is absolutely necessary.

        The Emergency Protective Custody law was put into place because of the high number of child deaths in the state. The Department of Social Services and State Law Enforcement Division came up with this law to help reduce the number of child fatalities in the state. Over the years, the law has been updated to add newer reasons for the removal of children. As time changes, so must the laws. This law was shaped by too many preventable child deaths. Children in South Carolina are impacted by this law in both negative and positive ways. It is always good to remove a child from a dangerous or neglectful situation. However, it can have a negative impact on those children who are old enough to remember being removed and placed with strangers. Some children are not removed long enough to receive psychological assistance such as therapy. Some children are removed when it is not absolutely necessary.

        I support this bill, but I do recommend some changes. I would like to ensure that every single child that is removed from a home is given the opportunity to receive therapy to prevent future mental or emotional scars. I would also suggest that officers are not allowed to determine that a child is to be removed from the home on their own in certain circumstances, unless they have extensive training, not just a checklist. I would suggest that officers must immediately call the Department of Social Services or someone trained in child neglect, such as a victim’s advocate to come to the scene to help assess the situation and make a determination that is best for the child. While I trust an officers’ decision, most are not trained in family and child services. There will be some situations that are obvious that the child needs to be removed. However, there are some gray areas that would be best decided by someone that specializes in child services.

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