State News

Child protection, social services changes given Senate OK

Posted June 12

— An updated plan to overhaul and improve North Carolina's child welfare and social services system doesn't go as far as an earlier proposal that would have forced counties to regionalize programs over time.

The Senate voted unanimously Monday for the measure.

The bill also requires a social worker to observe a child who has been removed from a home at least twice with his or her parent before recommending a return of physical custody. This proposal follows the death of a Moore County toddler.

The bill now heading to the House would authorize multicounty regional social services departments, but doesn't mandate them. The measure directs the state to hire an outside group to address problems identified in a federal review of the child and family services.

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