Bright Start Marks 20 Years of Serving South Carolinians with Special Needs
Thursday, March 14th, 2019
Bright Start, the first private early intervention company in South Carolina providing comprehensive services to individuals with special needs and developmental delays, celebrates its twentieth anniversary in March.
Beth Bunge and Teri Todd founded Bright Start in March 1999 after both worked in early intervention services and quality assurance for the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Using their experience with young children, their expertise with the early intervention system, and their knowledge of state agencies, they joined together to open Bright Start. The organization has since grown to a staff of more than 100 individuals.
“We know that navigating the service delivery system for individuals with special needs can be overwhelming, time-consuming and frustrating,” said Bunge. “Our goal from the very beginning has been to help make this process as easy as possible for families by ensuring that their loved ones receive the best services and live the fullest lives possible.”
Initially, Bright Start provided early intervention services from birth to age 5 with case management services from ages 3 to 21. Case management, also known as service coordination, is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, and advocacy for options and services designed to meet an individual's and family's comprehensive needs through community resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes.
“Bright Start has knowledgeable and caring staff dedicated to providing services to the children and adults we serve,” said Todd. “We believe in building a strong partnership with families and in helping children reach their developmental milestones by building on the strengths of the family and the child.”
In 2010 Bunge and Todd decided to expand the age limit of case management to the entire life span so that Bright Start could offer to be with a family as long as they needed. Eventually, they expanded services to include speech therapy, autism services, and family advocacy.
Bright Start serves Aiken, Anderson, Barnwell, Berkeley, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Dorchester, Edgefield, Greenville, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter and York counties. They have offices in Columbia, Greenville, Rock Hill, Charleston, and Anderson.