State says child abuse and neglect deaths up last year

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Social Services says the number of South Carolina children dying from abuse and neglect increased last year.

The Greenville News reported that DSS reported Tuesday there were 28 deaths from abuse or neglect in 2015. That compares with 22 deaths in 2014 and 25 in 2013.

DSS also says the number of children served by the agency as a result of an indicated report of abuse or neglect increased to more than 20,000 last year. That was up from nearly 17,000 in 2014.

Agency officials have said most of the increase is because of a new, centralized reporting system.

Greenville County had the most investigations of physical abuse last year at 371. Greenville County also had the largest number of sexual abuse investigations at 47.