Council on Adoptable Children (COAC): In 1977, the South Carolina Department of Social Services spearheaded a move to form the Council on Adoptable Children, an adoptive parents? group that has continued to grow in South Carolina. Today the Council on Adoptable Children is an important advocate for South Carolina?s children awaiting adoption. The Council on Adoptable Children, through Department of Social Services funding and assistance from the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, produces South Carolina Seedlings, an adoption photo listing service. Each year, COAC, in cooperation with other adoption agencies, sponsors an adoption conference for families, workers and interested individuals. COAC also publishes a quarterly newsletter and conducts picnics, parties, retreats and other special activities for special needs children and prospective adoptive families.
South Carolina Seedlings: Under the auspices of the Council on Adoptable Children, a statewide photo listing service featuring special needs children was implemented in November 1980.
SEEUS (Southeastern Exchange of the United States): Established in September 1982, SEEUS maintains a photo listing of special-needs children from the eight southeastern states. The agency is funded through contract funds from each southeastern state and monies generated by limited fundraising. The SEEUS South Carolina office is located in Greenville.
Florence Crittenton Services: Florence Crittenton Services of North Carolina and South Carolina provides maternity home care to birth parents. These services include group adoption counseling.
South Carolina Families for Kids: In 1995, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation awarded South Carolina a grant to restructure its child welfare system. The Department of Social Services, in conjunction with the United Way of South Carolina, implemented South Carolina Families for Kids. The initial focus of the project was the "Backlog Blitz". This effort concentrated attention on children whose permanent plan was adoption and attempted to accelerate their movement through the child welfare system. The long-term focus of South Carolina Families for Kids is the improvement of the child welfare system in South Carolina by ensuring that timely permanent plans are made and implemented for children. Some of the components of this effort are improvements in the family court system, implementation of the casework team concept and a statewide publicity campaign to recruit foster and adoptive homes for waiting children.
Although the funding has been expended, many of the efforts continue.
Through a W. K. Kellogg grant, the African American Adoption Center has been developed in collaboration with Reid House of Christian Service. The goal of the grant is to recruit and prepare adoptive and foster families to adopt African American children. The effort involves a partnership with churches and community volunteers. Children Unlimited, also a W. K. Kellogg recipient, offers a variety of support groups for older adoptive children and families, as well as a broad spectrum of adoption preservation services. Children Unlimited has been instrumental in assuring that mental health and adoption specialists meet annually for joint professional development.
In November 1998, the Department of Social Services began contracting with seven private, licensed child-placing agencies in South Carolina to assist in recruiting and preparing families for adoption. These agencies are:
Anderson Youth Association
Bethany Christian Services
Lutheran Family Services
Reid House of Christian Service
Specialized Alternatives for Youths of S. C.
South Carolina Youth Advocacy Program
Department of Social Services
P.O. Box 1520
Columbia, SC 29202-1520