Policy Brief: S. 805 - Department of Children's Advocacy

Children playing jump rope

The Department of Children’s Advocacy would create a much needed voice for the many children of South Carolina that rely upon the state for their safety and care, be it physical, mental, emotional or behavioral. 

The State Child Advocate would be responsible for ensuring that children receive adequate protection and care from services or programs offered by the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the John de la Howe School, the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, and the School for the Deaf and Blind.

Key Functions of the Department
  • Ensure that children under the care of a state agency, particularly children served by the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, receive timely, safe, and effective services. Safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of all children receiving services. 

  • Examine the care and services that state agencies provide children and provide recommendations to improve the quality of those services on a system-wide basis. 

  • Receive and investigate complaints related to the provision of services to children by a state agency. Review and monitor the complaints and ensure that the complaints are resolved. 

  • Receive and investigate complaints from children in the care of the State. Assist such children in resolving problems and concerns associated with their placement and plans. 

  • Perform an independent investigation of a critical incident, or review a completed critical incident investigation performed by a state agency. 

  • Report findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. 


To learn more, read the full brief here.



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