By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Advocates for South Carolina's elderly are urging legislators to create a statewide program of volunteers who work in court for abused, neglected and exploited adults.
After hearing from supporters, a legislative committee voted Wednesday to recommend a bill putting the state Office on Aging in charge of coordinating the volunteer corps for vulnerable adults.
The state agency would take over and expand a pilot program developed by the University of South Carolina.
Volunteer guardian ad litems appear in family court to represent the best interests of a vulnerable adult who's taken into state custody. Cases range from elderly residents financially exploited by their supposed caregivers to residents who live alone but simply can't care for themselves.
Supporters say South Carolina's aging population means the need for such representation is increasing.