Lawmakers look to tweak child care laws - - Columbia, South Carolina

Lawmakers look to tweak child care laws


Lawmakers are trying to fix a dismally low statistic that ranks the well-being of South Carolina children as 45th in the nation.

One includes a bill gaining traction in the Senate that would help coordinate medical resources with law enforcement entities prosecuting a case.

That bill is in response to a study from the South Carolina Children's Hospital Collaborative, which showed abused children have waited up to four weeks to get a physical examination from a qualified medical child abuse provider.

Another bill moving forward would put those who knowingly fail to report child abuse -- like coaches, childcare workers, counselors, and even funeral home employees -- in jail for up to a year or penalize them with a $5,000 fine.

"Take for instance the Penn State issue. They reported it to the college, but the college didn't turn around and didn't report it to the authorities and look what happened: it went on for years and years and years," said Sen. Katrina Shealy. "I think when people know, they're going to have to face the consequences, pay the price, they're going to do the right thing."

Another bill moving forward would prohibit child care facilities from administering over-the-counter medication without parental or guardian permission.

Shealy says the investigation into the Department of Social Services is far from over and that the DSS Oversight Committee is reviewing evidence.

That agency's director has plans to testify at a later date.

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