Legislation Prefiled to Address Child Welfare Concerns

DSS Senate Oversight Committee Holds Last Hearing of Year 

The Department of Social Services Oversight Subcommittee recently heard testimony from several individuals. Dr. Olga Rosa, board certified child abuse pediatrician and DSS Acting Director, Amber Gilliam both testified. The committee heard about needs for centralized intake hotline for child abuse cases, increased collaboration with S.C. Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System and creation of local child fatality review committees. 

Video of the testimony is available.  

Prefiled legislation addresses some of the concerns raised during these hearings.

  • S. 150 (Sen. Shealy, R-Lexington) restructures DSS through the creation of the Department of Family Protective Services
  • S. 250 (Sen. Shealy, R-Lexington; Sen. Lourie, D-Richland; Sen. Young, R-Aiken) would allow medical records to be released without consent of parent(s) to the medical provider who is evaluating a child for suspected abuse and neglect. Obtaining written consent to release the child’s medical records can be very difficult — even impossible — to obtain if the parent is unavailable or the suspected perpetrator and HIPPA allows for this exception.
  • S. 265 (Sen. Young, R-Aiken) allows for out-of-court testimony from staff of child advocacy centers in suspected child abuse and neglect cases.