The South Carolina Department for Children’s Advocacy (DCA) was established by 2018 Act No.160 (S. 805) of the South Carolina General Assembly, effective July 1, 2019, as promulgated in S.C. Code of Laws Ann. Section 63-11-2210, et. seq.
The South Carolina Department for Children’s Advocacy is an independent state agency which administers:
- The Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program
- S.C. Continuum of Care; and
- Foster Care Review Division (including the S.C. Heart Gallery)
- The Department of Children's Advocacy's Investigations Unit
Through its Investigations Unit, the Department of Children's Advocacy receives, refers, monitors and/or investigates complaints regarding services provided to children by the following agencies:
- Department of Social Services
- Department of Mental Health
- Department of Juvenile Justice
- Department of Health and Environmental Control
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
- Governor's School of Agriculture at John de la Howe
- School for the Deaf and the Blind
- Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School
S.C. Child Abuse Response Protocol: In 2021, Governor Henry McMaster signed S. 229 into law. The Act establishes the S.C. Child Abuse Response Protocol, a statewide protocol to effectively and efficiently respond to child abuse cases. Pursuant to the new legislation, the Department of Children's Advocacy is responsible for maintaining the protocol and the committee's updates to the protocol.
Amanda F. Whittle, J.D., CWLS
State Child Advocate and Executive Director
Kayla D. Capps, J.D
Deputy Child Advocate of System Improvement
Advocacy. Accountability. Service.