A legislative committee is recommending that South Carolina’s special needs department become a Cabinet agency directly under the governor’s control.
Members of the House Oversight Committee made the recommendation last week in an 11-1 vote after several months looking into the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN). The committee reviewed DDSN after several lawsuits highlighted problems with denied care, abuse and funding cuts at the agency responsible for those with intellectual disabilities, autism or traumatic brain injury.
The proposal — which would change DDSN from a semi-autonomous commission appointed by the governor into one whose director is appointed by the governor — is only a recommendation and will need to be introduced as legislation next year. Supporters say the current model is diffused and the commission struggles to handle abuse complaints at some of its dozens of providers. [Read more…]