South Carolina Legislature


 

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H 4615
Session 109 (1991-1992) 

H 4615 General Bill, By C.Y. Waites, Fair, Glover and H.H. Keyserling
 A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section
 20-7-35 so as to establish the Collaboration Council for Children to provide a
 mechanism for planning, coordinating, and enhancing services to children
 concerning the mental, physical, social, vocational, economic, and educational
 aspects of their lives.

   03/26/92  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-10
   03/26/92  House  Referred to Committee on Medical, Military,
                     Public and Municipal Affairs HJ-10



A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-35 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE COLLABORATION COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN TO PROVIDE A MECHANISM FOR PLANNING, COORDINATING, AND ENHANCING SERVICES TO CHILDREN CONCERNING THE MENTAL, PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, VOCATIONAL, ECONOMIC, AND EDUCATIONAL ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES.

Whereas, there is the increasing recognition that learning and the health and well-being of a child are inseparable in a child's development and that health, education, and social services are natural partners serving the same clients; and

Whereas, the prenatal and preschool developmental experiences of a child can affect his or her academic performance later in life; and

Whereas, the problems related to children in the custody of the State have increasingly become more complex, serious, and severe and warrant consideration by all state agencies which have been entrusted to meet their needs; and

Whereas, in order to enhance the development of young children with disabilities and to minimize their developmental delay, it is necessary that the State provide a comprehensive coordinated system of special education and related services to all children with disabilities ages three, four, and five; and

Whereas, the Kids Count project information has made it clear that a coordinated approach of all social services at all governmental levels is necessary; and

Whereas, the programs developed to serve children and their families should not be splintered due to institutional authority. Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 20-7-35. (A) There is established the Collaboration Council for Children consisting of the Governor, the commissioners of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Mental Retardation, the Department of Youth Services, the executive director of Health and Human Services Finance Commission, and the State Superintendent of Education. The chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee for Children, or his designee, shall serve as chair of the Collaboration Council unless the Governor attends any meeting of the council in which case he shall serve as chairman for that meeting. Other state agencies involved with children and federally funded programs, such as Head Start, may send representatives to participate, without voting privileges, in deliberations of the council upon the invitation of the council.

(B) Each Collaboration Council member may appoint a designee who has administrative or program responsibility for children's services and this designee shall attend as an agency representative with voting privileges. The designee of the chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee for Children, however, is not required to have program or administrative responsibility for children's services. The council shall meet at the call of the chair, but no less than quarterly. The state agencies involved in the council shall provide resources and staff to the council and any committees it might create, and staff with management responsibilities over programs related to children and staff with budgeting and fiscal responsibilities shall be assigned to work with the council. All matters under consideration must be resolved by majority vote of those present and voting.

(C) The purpose of the Collaboration Council is to better identify and serve the needs of children from prenatal through high school by providing a mechanism for planning, coordinating, and enhancing state and federally-funded services to children concerning the mental, physical, social, vocational, economic, and educational aspects of a child's life. To this end, the council shall work to further the current levels of communication, cooperation, and commitment to a sharing of ideas and resources with an emphasis on prevention rather than crisis reaction.

The council shall also work with federal agencies to find ways to overcome regulatory barriers to coordinated services. The council shall consider ways to better use federal, state, and local resources for funding, facilities, and personnel, and coordinate planning to maximize limited resources and to eliminate duplication of service.

(D) Among other issues, the Collaboration Council shall address the health screening and the provision of needed medical and dental services to preschool and school-aged children, ways to increase the coordination of child care with adult education and parenting training, the development of coordinated transportation services to special needs clients, adults and children, and the coordination of service delivery for children with disabilities.

(E) The Collaboration Council shall form a committee consisting of the members of the Collaboration Council and the executive directors of the Children's Foster Care Review Board and the Continuum of Care for Emotionally Disturbed Children for the purpose of resolving issues and concerns related to children in the custody of the State.

This committee, among other issues, shall conduct an assessment of the special needs foster care population to include identifying causal factors, characteristics of the present and future special needs foster care population, the suitability and cost effectiveness of placements, alternatives for cost effective management of the future population, and a realistic approach to prevention.

(F) The Collaboration Council shall maximize, where possible, the avenues for coordination to occur through the mechanisms of interagency agreements on financial and responsibility basis, interagency financing and reporting, utilization of flexibility in program regulations. In instances where state laws and regulations hamper development of collaborative action, the council is to inform the General Assembly as to needed changes.

(G) Within one year of the effective date of this section, the Collaboration Council shall report on the efficacy of continuing the council to the Joint Legislative Committee for Children, the Senate Education Committee, the House Education and Public Works Committee, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, and the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. The staffs of the Joint Legislative Committee for Children, the Senate Education Committee, the House Education and Public Works Committee, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, and the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee shall monitor the activities of the council and coordinate the implementation of its recommendations."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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