May 2009 Minutes

Children’s Law Committee Meeting
May 8, 2009 ??" 12:00 noon
Community Connection Center
SC Department of Juvenile Justice
4900 Broad River Road
Columbia, South Carolina


Members Present:                                      Bar Staff:
Michelle Dhunjishah, Chair                      Dana Kurtz, Liaison
Mitzi Campbell-Williams
Gale DuBose
Elizabeth Hill                                               Guest:
Michelle Hurley                                           Hon. William R. Byars, Jr.
Serena McDaniel
Susan Rose
Larry Vanderbilt
Shannon Wiley

I. Call to Order and Introductions
Chairperson Dhunjishah called the meeting to order.

II. Approval of March 12, 2009 Minutes
A motion was made and seconded to approved the March 12, 2009, minutes and was passed by acclamation.

III. Memorial for Tara Taggert
The Committee agreed to make a donation to animal rescue in memory of Tara Taggert, a former member of the Children’s Law Committee, who had recently passed away.

IV. Old Business
A. Legislative Update
1. Appointment of attorneys for attorney GALs ??" H 3779
Ms. Dhunjishah reported that H 3779 had gone before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on April 30, 2009, where it was given a favorable report. Ms. Wiley and Ms. Dhunjishah testified on behalf of the Children’s Law Committee, and Virginia Ravenel was there from the Guardian Program.

2. Driver’s licenses for foster youth
Ms. Dhunjishah reported that the Board of Governors was very supportive and had approved the proposed amendments to South Carolina Code
Annotated Sections 59-39-320, 56-1-100, 56-1-110 and 56-1-50.
3. Guardian Program Bill to remove GAL ??" S 434/H 3118
Ms. Ravenel had asked Ms. Dhunjishah to report on S434/H3118, the Guardian Ad Litem bill that would allow the program to remove the Guardian Ad Litem under certain circumstances. The bill was amended in the House and moved to the Senate where it received a favorable report from the Senate Subcommittee. The amended language conforms to National CASA standards.

B. Bar Convention Seminar
The Committee agreed to present a seminar at the 2010 SC Bar Convention. Ideas for a 3-hour seminar include:

• Juvenile Competency
• Power and authority of the Child Fatality Committee
• Panel discussion about TPRs
• Hot topics on children’s issues ??" 20 minute segments on guardian issues, disturbing schools, juvenile justice issues, abuse and neglect.

Ms. Dhunjishah was to put together a seminar outline and submit it to the CLE Division by the May 15, 2009, deadline. The Committee was to discuss the topics in greater detail at their next meeting.

C. Information regarding rights of non-custodial parents
No report at this time.

D. Video for parents when child is removed from the home
No report at this time.

IV. New Business
There was no new business.

V. Next meeting
The next meeting was set for Friday, August 14, 2009, at noon. Ms. Hill was to check the availability of the Community Connection Center at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

VI. Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.