SC H.4492 – Reporting Requirements for foster care hearings (Did Not Pass in 2016 due to filibuster)
Reportedly passed House as a true bi-partisan effort. Got stuck on final day of Senate proceedings due to one Senator’s filibuster.
Caregivers (foster parent, preadoptive parent, relative) are currently granted the right to speak in foster care hearings.
S.C. Children’s Code (section 63-7-1630) states the caregiver has “the right to attend the hearing and address the court concerning the child.” This legislation will enhance that right by requiring notice of the hearing 10 days in advance and will provide the caregiver a right to submit a report to court as well.
Sponsors: Reps. Putnam, Clyburn, Collins, Clary, Erickson, Long, Ryhal, Herbkersman, Newton, Tinkler, Jordan, Hicks, McCoy, M.S. McLeod, Douglas, Henegan, Allison, G.M. Smith, Funderburk, Finlay and Pitts
SC H.4413 – Safe Haven (Update Passed 2016)
With this law: Safe Haven locations must post a sign of their status.
Infants up to 60 days old may be placed at a safe haven site.
Safe havens must attempt to gather history information.
Safe havens in SC: hospitals, hospital-based outpatient facilities, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, EMS stations, and staffed houses of worship
Sponsors: Reps. H.A. Crawford, Norrell, M.S. McLeod, Henegan, V.S. Moss, Hicks and King
SC H. 4510 – Larger families allowed to foster (Passed 2016)
South Carolina was 1 of only 5 states with the lowest maximum capacity of 5 children in a foster home.
Before H 4510, policy did not allow DSS to place children in larger family homes.
With this law: Families can care for up to 5 children in foster care, with no more than 8 total children in a family home. As an example of the value of this, families can now continue to provide foster care after they have adopted children they were previously fostering. In the past, some foster families would be unable to continue to provide care once they adopted children who had been in their care despite having adequate resources and desire to do so.
This regulation is in alignment with recommendations from the Model Family Foster Home Licensing Standards, which was released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Generations United, and the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law. Their research and recommendations helped form H. 4510. Fostering Great Ideas, an Upstate SC advocacy organization, was also a supporter and crafter of this bill.
Sponsors: Reps. Thayer, Hosey, Nanney, Hamilton, Erickson, Long, Hicks, McCoy, McEachern and Bedingfield
SC H.4546 – Foster Parent Normalcy measures (Passed 2016)
There is a federal requirement for each State to regulate a prudent parent standard for children in care.
With this law: Children in foster care no longer need approval from DSS for activities a typical parent approves for their child (playing sports, going to camp, travelling, or spending the night at a friend’s house).
DSS caseworkers gain valuable (and expensive) time by concentrating on core job responsibilities rather than processing paperwork for a sleepover, a routine haircut or an extracurricular activity.
The morale for foster parents improves (and possibly will have a positive effect on the numbers of foster parents increase in alignment with our governor’s goals).
Sponsors: Reps. Putnam, Clyburn, Robinson-Simpson, Thayer, Collins, Clary, Erickson, Long, Ryhal, Herbkersman, Newton, Jordan, Hicks, McCoy, M.S. McLeod, Douglas, Henegan, Allison, Quinn, Funderburk, Finlay, Jefferson, Willis and Bedingfield
SC H. 4262
With this law: Fingerprint review, safety training, and registration required for Family-based Childcare Homes
SC H. 3145
With this law: Achieved civil liability immunity for property damage from forcible entry into a motor vehicle to remove a minor or vulnerable adult in imminent danger
For more information on SC Legislative Updates, go to: www.scstatehouse.gov.