In SC, DSS does not have the right to unilaterally take your children away. DSS must either have a law enforcement official declare that the children are subject to immediate danger or else, they may file an affidavit with a Judge, who after reading it may order that the children be taken into protective custody. DSS is required to schedule this case for a probable cause hearing within 3 days of the removal. If the mother can't afford to hire an attorney, she can request that one be appointed for her at the temporary hearing. By the way, judges frown on illegal drug use.