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Quick Facts: South Carolina

​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 40% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 42% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 19% of metrics met 

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 75% of metrics met

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 17% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 56% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 72% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 40
State Ranking 2022: 49

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2022 Score

2021 Score



South Carolina Highlights

South Carolina has moved the needle relative to other states in providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently.


Law & Policy

  • The state allows youth in foster care to access extended foster care services to age 21 under certain circumstances and allows youth who have exited the foster care system after 18 to re-enter within 12 months of exiting care.

  • The state gives minors contract rights OR allows them to enter into binding contracts for certain purposes (e.g. necessities).



  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness that has a youth component.

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

  • Youth can obtain a state-issued identification card without parental consent.



  • The state maintains a community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Palmetto State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, addressing their educational needs, and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • Reduce opportunities for contact between youth experiencing homelessness and the criminal and juvenile justice systems by declassifying running away as a status or delinquent offense.

  • Allow shelters to take in youth experiencing homelessness with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

  • Allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

  • Allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.



  • The state should create and adopt a public plan to end homelessness that includes LGBTQ+ youth.

  • Create a state entity – such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services – that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.



  • The state should establish and maintain stipends for a community advisory board that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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