If the department determines after the preliminary investigation that there is probable cause to believe that by reason of abuse or neglect the child's life, health, or physical safety is in imminent and substantial danger, the department may assume legal custody of the child without the consent of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. The department shall make every reasonable effort to notify the child's parent, guardian, or custodian of the location of the child and shall make arrangements for temporary visitation unless there are compelling reasons why visitation or notice of the location of the child would be contrary to the best interests of the child. The notification must be in writing and shall include notice of the right to a hearing and right to counsel pursuant to this article. Nothing in this section authorizes the department to physically remove a child from the care of the child's parent or guardian without an order of the court. The department may exercise the authority to assume legal custody only after a law enforcement officer has taken emergency protective custody of the child or the family court has granted emergency protective custody by ex parte order, and the department has conducted a preliminary investigation pursuant to Section.
S.C. Code § 63-7-660