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Child welfare may be reformed in North Carolina

Child welfare services are utilized by many people. Parents wishing to adopt may need to have the consultants approve them and their homes for children's safety before adoption. If there are allegations of abuse, the same services are supposed to follow up to make sure children are kept safe.

As a parent, your primary concern is your child's welfare, so knowing that this system could be reformed soon is positive news. There is new legislation being proposed that would change the current system from a county-based system to one with regional offices and more state oversight.

Why does the child welfare program need to change? There have been a number of vulnerable children who have been killed or hurt recently. For example, one child was adopted out to a family after his mother's death, even though his biological family members wanted to take him in.

In the current configuration, the state has hundreds of ways of handling child welfare cases, all of which vary across counties. Switching to a more standardized system helps make sure all children are treated as equally as possible. It would also help standardize the way abuse or neglect cases were handled around the state.

The new bill could help push for accelerated adoption, a great piece of news if you're planning on bringing a child into your family. Additionally, The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services would receive more authority to enforce performance standards, helping keep children safe in the state.

If you could be affected by this law, your attorney can help you understand how. If you plan to adopt, this could help you move through the process more quickly.

Source: North Carolina Health News, "Overhaul of Child Welfare System Getting Bipartisan Support," Sarah Ovaska-Few, May 11, 2017

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