History of COSY

COSY was officially founded in July of 1994 with the formalization of a contract between the SC State Health and Human Services Finance Commission and County Council of Beaufort County. It was established to develop and implement a process for innovating local planning, decision making, and managing fiscal resources on behalf of Beaufort County children who are receiving or potentially in need of residential therapeutic services.

This contract was developed at a time when the escalating demand and cost of residential therapeutic services challenged the state to consider the efficacy of such services, particularly when provided outside of a youth’s home community. This prompted South Carolina leaders to explore alternative approaches to achieve improved outcomes for youth in a fiscally responsible manner. For this purpose, Beaufort County agencies and organizations, representing both the public and private sectors, entered into a partnership and developed a strategy to test the hypothesis that local, collaborative planning, resource management, and oversight could enhance service effectiveness for Beaufort County youth in a fiscally responsible manner. COSY sought to demonstrate that first-hand experience and direct contact with the youth of its community provides a stronger foundation from which to address their specific needs.

This strategy culminated in the plan to develop the COSY Initiative which was endorsed by the local partners who would become the COSY Board of Directors. In a letter written to Eugene A. Laurent, Ph.D., Executive Director of the State Health and Human Services Finance Commission in June of 1994, Morris Campbell, Chairman of the Human Services Coordinating Council, stated, “As in any endeavor attempting to respond to needs as complex as those exhibited by the youth to be served in the COSY initiative, we have been challenged to develop a strategy which has the strongest potential to achieve the desired outcomes. Though it has taken some time to design this strategy, we believe the quality of our plan will reflect the intensity of our commitment to Beaufort County Youth. Our plan encompasses not only the short-tern objective of [our youth’s] return, but also the long-term goal of their stabilization and enhanced quality of life within Beaufort County.”