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Independent Assessment and Recommendations for Child Welfare and Social Services Reform Released

Raleigh

The Center for the Support of Families today released two preliminary reform plans, one for child welfare and one for social services. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will use the preliminary recommendations as a roadmap to identify ways to improve support to and oversight of social services programs, enhance child safety and protect children from harm.  

These independent assessments of North Carolina’s child welfare and social services systems by CSF are part of a broader reform effort driven by the Family-Child Protection and Accountability Act, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2017. Goals include improving outcomes for children and families, developing a child welfare plan, enhancing state supervision of local social services offices, improving accountability for outcomes at the local, regional and state levels, creating a data dashboard, and developing a plan for consistent quality improvement for social services.

"Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians," said DHHS Principal Deputy Secretary Susan Perry-Manning. "We welcome the independent review of our system and look forward to working with the General Assembly, county leaders and other stakeholders to strengthen these systems."

The preliminary recommendations released today conclude Phase one of CSF’s assessment of North Carolina’s child welfare and social services systems, which focused on deep analysis of programmatic and administrative data. Phase one also included surveys that were issued to all 100 counties and face-to-face interview sessions and focus groups with select county-level staff, directors and community stakeholders. 

Phase two of CSF’s work will include further development of the preliminary reform plans, including additional engagement with state and county leaders, as well as community stakeholders. The final recommendations will be released at the conclusion of Phase two in February 2019. Phase three provides for continued oversight and monitoring of the implementation activities.
 
County leadership and community stakeholders can review the preliminary reform plans at www.osbm.nc.gov/social-services-and-child-welfare-reform-reports.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Vernon Drew, CSF president, via email at vdrew@csfmail.org.    

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