A four-year-old child who was brutally murdered by his parents last week was placed in the home by the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS), sources close to the family tell FITS.

The young boy – son of 28-year-old Robert Antonio Guinyard and 25-year-old Courtney Shante Thompson – was killed last Monday by blunt force trauma to the head and body. According to WLTX TV 19 (CBS – Columbia, S.C.), Richland County Sheriff’s deputies say “the child was beaten throughout the day, and when his mother came home, she did nothing to help the child.”

Guinyard and Thompson have been charged with homicide by child abuse – while a newborn in the home was taken into protective custody.

Here’s the thing, though …

According to our sources, “protective custody” in South Carolina – which was recently ranked as one of the worst states for children – isn’t especially “protective.”

In fact SCDSS has been accused of returning this boy to Guinyard and Thompson’s “care” even though Thompson allegedly told the agency she didn’t want the child.

“The aunt of the child was trying to get custody, but the child was beaten to death before that could happen,” a source close to the family tells FITS. “SCDSS has blood on its hands again.”

Calls to the agency were not immediately returned and previous efforts by FITS to obtain information from SCDSS using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have been unsuccessful. We’ll be sure to let our readers know if we’re able to get anything out of director Lillian Koller’s secretive bureaucracy, though.

Also, sources tell FITS there is a much more chilling case involving alleged incompetence on the part of SCDSS about to break … so stay tuned for that report.

Lawmakers have been clamoring for reform of this incompetent agency – which is part of Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet – for months. In fact earlier this year, S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne (RINO-Charleston) demanded a legislative audit of SCDSS.

“It needs to be reformed,” Horne told WCIV TV 4 (ABC – Charleston, S.C.) back in March. “Some people may not need to be working at DSS if they have the attitude that they are not going to protect children.”