South Carolina Legislature


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2016-2017 As passed by the Senate



38.1. (DSS: Fee Retention) The Department of Social Services shall recoup all refunds and identified program overpayments and all such overpayments shall be recouped in accordance with established collection policy. Funds of $800,000 collected under the Child Support Enforcement Program (Title IV-D) which are state funds shall be remitted to the State Treasurer and credited to the General Fund of the State. All state funds above $800,000 shall be retained by the department to fund Self-Sufficiency and Family Preservation and Support initiatives.

38.2. (DSS: Recovered State Funds) The department shall withhold a portion of the State Funds recovered, under the Title IV-D Program, for credit to the general fund in order to allow full participation in the federal set off program offered through the Internal Revenue Service, the withholding of unemployment insurance benefits through the Department of Employment and Workforce and reimbursement for expenditures related to blood testing. Such funds may not be expended for any other purpose. The Department of Social Services shall be allowed to utilize the State share of Federally required fees, collected from non-TANF clients, in the administration of the Child Support Enforcement Program. Such funds may not be expended for any other purpose. However, this shall not include Child Support Enforcement Program incentives paid to the program from federal funds to encourage and reward cost effective performance. Such incentives are to be reinvested in the program to increase collections of support at the state and county levels in a manner consistent with federal laws and regulations governing such incentive payments. The department shall not use clerk of court incentive funds to replace agency operating funds. Such funds shall be remitted to the appropriate state governmental entity to further child support collection efforts.

38.3. (DSS: Foster Children Burial) The expenditure of funds allocated for burials of foster children shall not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars per burial.

38.4. (DSS: Battered Spouse Funds) Appropriations included in Subprogram II.J. entitled Battered Spouse shall be allocated through contractual agreement to providers of this service. These appropriations may also be used for public awareness and contracted services for victims of this social problem including the abused and children accompanying the abused. Such funds may not be expended for any other purpose nor be reduced by any amount greater than that stipulated by the Executive Budget Office or the General Assembly for the agency as a whole.

38.5. (DSS: Court Examiner Service Exemption) In order to prevent the loss of federal funds to the State, employees of the Department of Social Services whose salaries are paid in full or in part from federal funds will be exempt from serving as court examiners.

38.6. (DSS: TANF Advance Funds) The Department of Social Services is authorized to advance sufficient funds during each fiscal year from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Assistance Payments general fund appropriations to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Assistance Payments federal account only for the purpose of allowing a sufficient cash flow in the federal account. The advance must be refunded no later than April of the same fiscal year. Upon the advance of funds as provided herein, the Comptroller General is authorized to process the July voucher for the funding of benefit checks.

38.7. (DSS: Fee Schedule) The Department of Social Services shall be allowed to charge fees and accept donations, grants, and bequests for social services provided under their direct responsibility on the basis of a fee schedule. The fees collected shall be utilized by the Department of Social Services to further develop and administer these program efforts. The below fee schedule is established for the current fiscal year.

Day Care

Family Child Care Homes (up to six children) $ 15

Group Child Care Homes (7-12 children) $ 30

Registered Church Child Care (13+) $ 50

Licensed Child Care Centers (13-49) $ 50

Licensed Child Care Centers (50-99) $ 75

Licensed Child Care Centers (100-199) $ 100

Licensed Child Care Centers (200+) $ 125

Central Registry Checks

Nonprofit Entities $ 8

For-profit Agencies $ 25

State Agencies $ 8

Schools $ 8

Day Care $ 8

Other Volunteer Organizations $ 8

Other Childrens Services

Services Related to Adoption of Children from

Other Countries $ 225

Court-ordered Home Studies in non-DSS Custody Cases $ 850

Licensing Residential Group Homes Fee for an

Initial License $ 250

For Renewal $ 75

Licensing Child Caring Institutions Fee for an

Initial License $ 500

For Renewal $ 100

Licensing Child Placing Agencies Fee for an

Initial License $ 500

For Renewal $ 60

For Each Private Foster Home Under the Supervision

of a Child Placing Agency $ 15

Responsible Father Registry

Registry Search $ 50

38.8. (DSS: Food Stamp Fraud) The state portion of funds recouped from the collection of recipient claims in the TANF and Food Stamp programs shall be retained by the department. A portion of these funds shall be distributed to local county offices for emergency and program operations.

38.9. (DSS: TANF - Immunizations Certificates) The department shall require all TANF applicants and/or recipients to provide proof of age appropriate immunizations for children. If such immunizations have not been administered, the department shall assist in referring applicants to appropriate county health departments to obtain the immunizations.

38.10. (DSS: County Directors Pay) With respect to the amounts allocated to the Department of Social Services for Employee Pay Increase in this act, the Department of Social Services is authorized to allot funds for pay increases to individual county directors and regional directors in classified positions without uniformity. Pay increases for DSS county directors and regional directors shall be administered in accordance with the guidelines established by the Department of Administration for Executive Compensation System and other nonacademic unclassified employees. Any employees subject to the provisions of this paragraph shall not be eligible for any other compensation increases provided in this act.

38.11. (DSS: Use of Funds Authorization) Department investigative units shall be authorized to receive and expend funds awarded to these units as a result of a donation, contribution, prize, grant, and/or court order. These funds shall be retained by the department on behalf of the investigative units and deposited in a separate, special account and shall be carried forward from year to year and withdrawn and expended as needed to fulfill the purposes and conditions of the donation, contribution, prize, grant, and/or court order, if specified, and if not specified, as may be directed by the Director of the Department of Social Services. These accounts shall not be used to supplant operating funds in the current or future budgets. The agency shall report to the Senate Finance Committee and Ways and Means Committee by January thirtieth of the current fiscal year on the amount of funds received and how expended.

38.12. (DSS: Use of Funds Authorization) Unless specifically directed by the General Assembly, when DSS is directed to provide funds to a not-for-profit or 501(c)(3) organization, that organization must use the funds to serve persons who are eligible for services in one or more DSS programs.

38.13. (DSS: Grant Authority) The Department of Social Services is authorized to make grants to community-based not-for-profit organizations for local projects that further the objectives of DSS programs. The department shall develop policies and procedures and may promulgate regulations to assure compliance with state and federal requirements associated with the funds used for the grants and to assure fairness and accountability in the award and administration of these grants. The department shall require a match from all grant recipients.

38.14. (DSS: Family Foster Care Payments) The Department of Social Services shall furnish as Family Foster Care payments for individual foster children under their sponsorship and under kinship care:

ages 0 - 5 $383 $404 per month

ages 6 - 12 $458 $469 per month

ages 13 + $518 $535 per month

These specified amounts are for the basic needs of the foster children to include kinship care assistance. Basic needs within this proviso are identified as food (at home and away), clothing, housing, transportation, education and other costs as defined in the U.S. Department of Agriculture study of Annual Cost of Raising a Child to Age Eighteen. Further, each agency shall identify and justify, as another line item, all material and/or services, in excess of those basic needs listed above, which were a direct result of a professional agency evaluation of clientele need. Legitimate medical care in excess of Medicaid reimbursement or such care not recognized by Medicaid may be considered as special needs if approved by the sponsoring/responsible agency and shall be reimbursed by the sponsoring agency in the same manner of reimbursing other special needs of foster children.

38.15. (DSS: Penalty Assessment) The Department of Social Services may impose monetary penalties against a person, facility, or other entity for violation of statutes or regulations pertaining to programs, other than foster home licensing, that the department regulates. Penalties collected must be remitted to the State Treasurer for deposit into the State General Fund. The department shall promulgate regulations for each program in which penalties may be imposed. The regulations must include guidance on the decision to assess a penalty, the effect of failure to pay a penalty in a timely manner, and a schedule of penalty ranges that takes into account severity and frequency of violations. These regulations must provide for notice of the penalty and the right to a contested case hearing before a designee of or panel appointed by the director of the department. Judicial review of the final agency decision concerning a penalty must be in accordance with statutes or regulations that apply to judicial review of final revocation and denial decisions in that particular program. The department, in accordance with regulations promulgated pursuant to this provision, shall have discretion in determining the appropriateness of assessing a monetary penalty against a person or facility and the amount of the penalty. The authority to assess monetary penalties shall be in addition to other statutory provisions authorizing the department to seek injunctive relief or to deny, revoke, suspend, or otherwise restrict or limit a license or other types of operating or practice registrations, approvals, or certificates.

38.16. (DSS: Child Support Enforcement Automated System Carry Forward) The department shall be authorized to retain and carry forward any unexpended funds appropriated for the Child Support Enforcement automated system and related penalties.

38.17. (DSS: Child Support Enforcement System) From the funds appropriated in Part IA, Section 38(F), the Department of Social Services shall prepare a detailed report on the status of the Child Support Enforcement System. The report shall include, but not be limited to, actions currently being undertaken to become compliant with federal government requirements; the cost required to meet minimum federal guidelines; total funds spent so far on the system; the amount of fines assessed by the federal government associated with noncompliance; how much has been spent to satisfy actions taken by the state judicial system; and how much has been spent related to actions taken by any other entity which may have altered the amount required for meeting minimum federal guidelines. The report shall be submitted to the General Assembly by August thirty-first of the current fiscal year.

38.18. (DSS: Child Care Voucher) State funds allocated to the Department of Social Services and used for child care vouchers must be used to enroll eligible recipients within provider settings exceeding the states minimum child care licensing standards. The department may waive this requirement on a case by case basis.

38.19. (DSS: Meals in Emergency Operations) The cost of meals may be provided to state employees who are not permitted to leave their stations and are required to work during actual emergencies, emergency situation exercises, and when the Governor declares a state of emergency.

38.20. (DSS: Day Care Facilities Supervision Ratios) For the current fiscal year, staff-child ratios contained in Regulations 114-504(B), 114-504(C), 114-524(B), and 114-524(C) shall remain at the June 24, 2008 levels.

38.21. (DSS: Foster Care Goals) To comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 671(a)(14) and 45 C.F.R. Section 1356.21(n), it shall be the goal of the state that the maximum number of Title IV-E funded children who will remain in foster care for more than twenty-four months will not exceed a total of 2,617 during the fiscal year. The Department of Social Services shall develop appropriate plans for timely permanency and use appropriate data benchmarks and targets that will achieve this goal.

38.22. (DSS: Comprehensive Teen Pregnancy Prevention Funding) (A) From the monies appropriated for the Continuation of Teen Pregnancy Prevention, the department must award the dollars allocated to a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity to provide abstinence first, age appropriate comprehensive approach to health and sexuality education with a goal of preventing adolescent pregnancy throughout South Carolina.

(B) Contracts must be awarded utilizing a competitive approach in accordance with the South Carolina Procurement Code.

(C) The monies appropriated must be paid over a twelve month basis for services rendered. Unexpended funds shall be carried forward for the purpose of fulfilling the departments contractual agreement.

(D) The programs implemented by the entity awarded a contract pursuant to this proviso may not violate any portion of the South Carolina Comprehensive Health Education Act when implemented in a school setting. An entity that violates any portion of the South Carolina Comprehensive Health Education Act must reimburse the State for all funds disbursed.

38.23. (DSS: SNAP Coupons) The Department of Social Services shall continue the Healthy Bucks program established to provide coupons that allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to obtain additional fresh fruits and vegetables when purchasing fresh produce at grocery stores or farmers markets with SNAP benefits through their EBT cards. Each coupon shall allow the beneficiary to double the amount of produce purchased, up to ten dollars per month. The agency shall utilize all funds received in the prior and current fiscal years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a bonus for reducing the error rate in processing SNAP applications to fund the program. The agency shall work to identify and utilize funds as matching dollars for the continued success of the Healthy Bucks program and shall report semi-annually to the General Assembly on the status of the program. The report shall include, at a minimum, the number of recipients, counties served, and cumulative expenditure data for the program.

38.24. (DSS: Local Internal Child Fatality Review Committees) For Fiscal Year 2015-16 2016-17, the Director of the Department of Social Services shall create and fund Local Internal Child Fatality Review Committees (local internal committees) pursuant to the authority granted in Sections 43-1-60(3), 43-1-80, and 63-7-910(E) of the 1976 Code to allow for the rapid and expeditious review of reported child fatalities which come within the investigative authority of the department that are reported to the Department of Social Services on suspicion of abandonment, child abuse, neglect or harm as defined in Section 63-7-20. This review process will enable the department to respond to the safety needs of any surviving siblings and will lead to improvement in the departments efforts to prevent child fatalities caused by abandonment, child abuse, neglect or harm. Each local internal committee shall be composed of a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, an agent from the State Law Enforcement Division, and representatives from a local law enforcement officer, a representative from the local coroners office, and representatives from the Department of Social Services, public health, the solicitors office and, as necessary, healthcare workers, mental health providers, educators, and the Childrens Advocacy Centers. The internal committee may invite other service provider organizations as deemed necessary. The department is authorized to provide reasonable compensation for board-certified child abuse pediatricians serving on a Local Child Fatality Review Committee an internal committee. Local Internal committees shall have access to information and records maintained by a provider of medical care regarding a child whose death is being reviewed by the local internal committee, including information on prenatal care; all information and records maintained by any state, county, or local government agency, including, but not limited to, birth certificates, law enforcement investigation data, county coroner or medical examiner investigation data, parole and probation information and records, and information and records of health agencies that provided services to the child or family; and unfounded reports of abuse or neglect made strictly confidential and whose disclosure is otherwise prohibited by statute. Further, local committees shall have the same authority as the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee to obtain information as set forth in Section 63-11-1970. The meetings, information obtained by, reports prepared by, and testimony statements made before the local internal committees are confidential and protected from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, criminal and civil proceedings, and subpoenas to the same extent as the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee as set forth in Sections 63-11-1980 and 63-11-1990 63-7-940 and 63-7-1990.

38.25. (DSS: Tuition Reimbursement/Student Loan Repayment) The Department of Social Services is allowed to spend state, federal, and other sources of revenue to provide tuition reimbursement and/or student loan repayment to aid in retaining caseworkers and critical needs department jobs based on objective guidelines established by the State Director of the Department of Social Services.

The department may also provide paid educational leave for any employees in an FTE position to attend class while enrolled in programs that are related to the agency's mission. All such leave is at the agency head's discretion.

The department may enter into an agreement with staff employed in critical need departments to repay them for their outstanding student loans and/or reimburse tuition expenses. The employee must be employed in a critical needs area, which would be identified at the agency head's discretion, be in a covered FTE, and not have any disciplinary actions. Participants in this program must agree to remain at the department for a period of five years. The department may pay these employees up to $7,500 each year over a five-year period in accordance with a program developed by the department. Payments will be made directly to the employee at the end of each year of employment. Payments cannot exceed the balance of the student loan or the cost of tuition.

38.26. (DSS: Federally Certified Child Support Enforcement System Project) In order to expedite the completion and certification of the Automated Child Support Enforcement System required by the Social SecurityNext Act (42 U.S.C. 654a), the Department of Social Services is authorized to adopt, to the fullest extent possible, the system and operating procedures of the Delaware Transfer System. To the extent the Transfer System operating processes deviate from, or are incompatible with, current South Carolina practice, the department is authorized to determine the most effective and efficient practice to comply with federal requirements. The department shall work with Clerks of Court to identify the changes involved in the implementation of the Transfer System which may impact their current operating practices with regards to performance of required child support functions in order to facilitate the integration of those practices into the Transfer System. Pursuant to the Social PreviousSecurity Act and S.C. Code Section 63-17-610, Clerks of Court shall utilize the federally certifiable child support system and the state disbursement unit developed by the department to perform required child support functions.

38.27. (DSS: SNAP Employment & Training Program ) The Department of Social Services shall apply to the Federal Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture for a waiver from the Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents rule for any area, county or Metropolitan Statistical Area that is eligible for this waiver under 7 C.F.R. Section 273.24(f) due to a recent unemployment rate above 10 percent or designation as a Labor Surplus area by the United States Department of Labor. The department shall not enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) to undertake Employment and Training program responsibilities for any region of the state where there is a county located in the region that DEW does not have a fully operational and staffed office located within. The Department of Social Services shall maintain all Employment and Training program responsibilities in those regions.


Legislative Services Agency
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