By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The director of a South Carolina medical team that investigates child abuse says the state needs to centralize how initial calls of abuse are handled, as the current system discourages would-be reporters and creates inconsistencies.
That was among several recommendations Dr. Olga Rosa made Thursday to a Senate panel investigating the Department of Social Services.
By law, reports must be made to either DSS or law enforcement, depending on whether the suspected abuser is a relative. Rosa says that means people often don't know who to call, and they're sometimes told to call someone else.
The agency's acting director told senators she agrees with Rosa's recommendations, and a statewide hotline should be operating by late February. But instead of one central location handling calls, there will be six regional hubs.