The South Carolina House has sent to the Senate a bill that would make it illegal for convicted sex offenders to serve as foster parents in South Carolina.
Current law bans people who have a history of child abuse or have been convicted of certain crimes like criminal domestic violence from serving as foster parents. But sex offenders are not specifically mentioned in the law.
While the state Department of Social Services usually conducts background checks to catch a sex offender, Rep. Chip Limehouse (R-Charleston) said he wants to clarify the language in state law.
“I think DSS is so overwhelmed by what they’re doing, that occasionally a situation could slip through the cracks,” Limehouse told South Carolina Radio Network.
The House Judiciary Committee also voted to expand the list of people who could not act as foster parents to include a parent convicted of criminal domestic violence first offense.
“This is strictly common sense,” Limehouse said.
The bill passed the House unanimously last week and now heads to the Senate.