SC Social Services investigates child safety complaint in Chester County

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CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. - The South Carolina Department of Social Services is investigating Chester County DSS after a mother complained a social worker didn't use a car seat for her 4-and 7-year-old children.

Chasity Deese said that during a scheduled visitation with her kids Tuesday night, a Chester County social worker drove her kids from Lake City to Florence, South Carolina, without car seats.

"They are the ones that remove kids from abuse and neglect from families, but is that not neglect to drive children around without car seats properly restrained?" Deese said. "Nothing can replace my kids, you know, what if something happens to them?"

The Department of Social Services confirmed to Channel 9 there is an investigation.

"The department is committed to ensuring children are safely restrained in car seats in compliance with South Carolina state law," Karen Wingo, director of communications and legislative affairs, said. "We have received a report that one or more children were not transported in car seats in contravention of state law and/or our departmental policy. We are investigating the allegation and, if found to be true, the department will take appropriate disciplinary action. "

South Carolina state law requires children 8 and under or smaller than 57 inches to be in a booster seat.

Deese said her children told her they have never been put in car seats during visitation transports. Deese reported the incident to Florence police officers.

"I know if they have my kids, and they are not in seats, then other people's kids are riding around not in seats as well," Deese said. "All it takes is somebody just to walk in, grab them, throw it the car and strap the kid in, but I guess that is too much trouble for them."

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