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ABC Special Needs Program 

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The Child Care Services Division places a high priority on serving families with children who have special needs. These are children who:
  • are under the age of 19
  • have differing abilities and developmental delays such as Autism, Mental Retardation, Down Syndrome, or brain and spinal cord injuries.
A child may also be eligible if they are receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy through their local county school district and have an “Individualized Education Plan” they are working on with their school. We offer a number of services to these families.

Special Needs Child Care Vouchers 

Families may qualify for special child care vouchers (slots), but only if the parent is employed, or is enrolled in a school or training program, or is also disabled. ABC vouchers are always intended to support working parents and their families. Parents who believe they are eligible must fill out an ABC Special Needs Child Care Application. Special Needs applications are available through certain agencies; the locations where an ABC Special Needs Application can be obtained are listed below:

  • Local county Departments of Disabilities and Special Needs 
  • The South Carolina School for the Deaf & Blind 
  • The Babynet Office at the Department of Health and Environmental Control 
  • Children’s Rehabilitative Services - located at the county Department of Health and Environmental Control

Once the application is completed, the staff located at these agencies – usually an Early Interventionist, a Service Coordinator or a Referral Agent - will review the application to ensure that it is accurate and complete. All applications are forwarded to the ABC Special Needs Child Care Program located at the Department of Social Services. Parents will be notified about the status of their case within 2 weeks.

For questions regarding the ABC Special Needs Voucher program, call:
Donna Casteen at (803) 898-9735 or email her at: donna.casteen@dss.sc.gov.

 

Other Special Needs Resources 



DSS also funds a wonderful resource for families with children who have special needs – it is the ABC Special Needs Program, provided through the Center for Disability Resources at the USC School of Medicine/Pediatrics.

Staff working in this program help child care providers serve children with differing abilities. They consult with providers and offer them specialized technical assistance and training at no cost to the provider. They often go on-site to show providers how to do certain medical procedures; for example, they may show a provider how to perform blood sugar tests on kids with diabetes. They train all sorts of providers:
  • family child care homes 
  • group child care homes 
  • child care centers 
  • faith-based providers 
  • families, friends, and neighbors caring for children in their homes

The ABC Special Needs Child Care Program also offers their services to:


  • Parents looking for good care
  • agencies who need information or who refer providers or parents for services 
  • educators
  • other community partners who need information or training

For more information, follow the link to the USC Center for Disability Resources at: http://uscm.med.sc.edu/cdrhome/abcspecialneeds.htm.

 

   

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