July 2007 Minutes

July 27, 2007

The Children's Law Committee met on Friday, July 27, 2007, at 12:00 noon.

Members Present (14):
Taron Davis, Chair
Amanda Adler
Mary Au
Cherie Barton
Gale DuBose
Bea Hightower
Elizabeth Hill
Paulette Jones
Kimaka Nichols-Graham
Susan Rose
Tara Taggart
Thomas Trent
Larry Vanderbilt
Tana Vanderbilt

Bar Staff Present (2):
Angela McClure
Carey Way

Call to Order: Ms. Davis welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

Minutes: Ms. Davis asked for approval of the May 4, 2007, minutes.  It was noted that Ms.  Hill should be listed as "Elizabeth" Hill.  Motion was made that the minutes be approved as amended.
The motion was seconded, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

Status of Previously Adopted 2007-08 Goals:

Continue to distribute the Child Protective Service cards. 
No new information reported.

Continue to support efforts to reintroduce and for the passage of the Disturbing School Statute Bill.
Elizabeth Hill reported that DJJ planned to meet with representatives from the School Board Association and Department of Education this summer to work on this bill. Ms. Rose with the SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center reported that, according to the Department of Education's Fiscal Impact Report, $12.9M was needed to implement the Disturbing Schools program with a similar amount required each year.   Additionally, the SC School Board Association and the SC Educator's Association had concerns about the intervention portion of the bill, which essentially echoes what is already in place for truancy violations. Ms. Rose also mentioned that since it is the second year of a two year session, the bill will not have to be reintroduced but will pick up from the end of last year. At the end of session, Senator Hutto had placed his name on the bill pending negotiations with the involved agencies.

Develop strategies (handouts) for schools, law enforcements, parents and daycare     explaining the rights of non-custodial parents.
Ms. Adler reported that immediately prior to the meeting she had emailed "Noncustodial Parent Rights in South Carolina Draft Ideas for Q/A Format" to Ms. Way.  Ms Way would distribute this to committee members for review/suggestions/comments, and this item would be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.  

Conduct a seminar at the 2008 Bar Convention.
This goal was discussed as a "new business item".

Support the Bar's efforts to provide FAQ's to the public regarding children's issues. 

Ms. Way introduced Ms. McClure, South Carolina Bar Public Resource Director.  She informed the Committee that she was originally from San Francisco and finished school at USC School of Law. She spoke to the Committee regarding the Bar's efforts to provide FAQ's to the public regarding children's issues.  She stated she had worked through her emails and calls and comprised "FAQs" and had made the observation that questions had basically not changed. Copies of  "FAQs", California Bar Foundation's "Kids & Law An A-Z Guide for Parents", and Children's Law Office "Kid's Law" were distributed to Committee members prior to the meeting for review.

Ms. McClure reported that she was working with other Bar staff to update the Public Services section on the Bar Web Site.  She reported that she would like to design it to be "more user friendly for publications", she hoped to provide a great Children's section, and she would be putting together a "small publication" (pending approval).  She reported she hoped to have the web site up and running in six to nine months. Her question to the committee was whether they desired a packet directed to kids or to parents.  She requested that the Committee discuss any pertinent ideas and contact her via Ms. Way.

The Committee determined that:

the California publication and "Kid's Law" topics were identical;
that "Kid's Law" deals with more than what comes under this Committee's scope; and
the California publication was bigger than "Kid's Law".

The Committee agreed to assist Ms. McClure. Ms. Rose with the SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center offered to forward "What South Carolina Students Need to Know About Rights and Responsibilities in School" once it has been completed.  This brochure is being written for an audience of students. A link to this brochure from the "Children's Law" page will provide expanded information in the area of education and school.

Support legislative changes that will assist foster children to obtain a driver's license and insurance.
No update provided.

Monitor legislation dealing with children's issues.
Ms. Davis stated there was nothing pivotal to report.  There was some discussion on pending legislation including disturbing schools proposed legislation, inclusion of juveniles on the sexually violent offender registry, proposed changes to the criminal sexual conduct with a minor statute, a proposed constitutional change addressing the age for consenting to sex, and issues related to school vouchers.

New Business:

Discussion of suggested 2007-2008 goal. Committee may submit "as is", change the language, or drop entirely:

Seek clarification of S.C. Code Ann. §20-7-110, which currently requires the
appointment of an attorney and a Guardian ad litem for all children abuse in neglect proceedings.

Ms. Davis reported after conclusion of the previous meeting, some Committee members had proposed the above goal be added to the 2007-2008 goals and the matter had been placed on the agenda for discussion.

Committee members discussed the proposed goal, and the matter was tabled.  Ms. Taggart agreed to make an inquiry to Ms. Dhunjishah to try to ascertain the genesis of the discussion and the parameters of the concern.  Ms. Taggart agreed to report back to the committee at the next meeting.

Discussion on new design of "Guidelines for Guardians ad litem  for Children in Family Court".

Ms. Way reported the most recent design by the Bar design team had been approved by Ms.
Vanderbilt, Ms. Robinson, and Chair Davis.  Ms. Way said she would be ordering 5,000 copies
(more if determined would be less expensive if purchased in larger increment) as previously instructed by the Committee).
     C. Update on Bar Web site information

Ms. Way reported she would have the new design of "Guidelines for Guardians ad litem  for Children in Family Court" and May's Minutes posted on the Web site.

      D.  Discuss 2008 Convention Agenda 8/10/07 deadline to submit documentation.

Ms. Davis reported she had previously distributed a draft of proposal to Committee members but that she was still working on speaker confirmation. Mr. Vanderbilt agreed to assist Ms. Davis in confirming one of the speakers. There was discussion as to the time being moved to Saturday.   Ms. Way requested Ms. Davis provide her with a copy of what was submitted. There was discussion as to expected location change for the 2009 and 2010 conventions.

Next Meeting: The next meeting would be scheduled for a Friday in September other than September 28, 2007.

Adjournment: There being no further business, Ms. Davis adjourned the meeting.