NC taking temporary control of child welfare services at Bertie County's social services department
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will temporarily assume leadership of child welfare services Monday at the Bertie County Department of Social Services, as authorized under state law.
Bertie County and the county's Department of Social Services leadership are aware and have expressed support of this temporary action, according to a release from the NCDHHS.
The state agency started a review of the county's child welfare services after learning of serious concerns around its practice, delivery, and administration of child welfare services.
Further information gathered during the state agency's communication with the county's DSS leadership and staff, case and record reviews, and on-site visits revealed a systemic lack of adequate training, supervision, and capacity to deliver appropriate child welfare services in accordance with law, rule and policy, the release stated.
"Supporting the well-being of children and their families is a top priority for the department, and we take seriously our role in helping children grow up in safe, loving, permanent homes," said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley in the release. "Taking this urgent, temporary action will help us work collaboratively with Bertie County leadership to strengthen the county’s ability to deliver child welfare services."
"We have a responsibility to make sure that children in Bertie County are safe and healthy," said Bertie County Manager Juan Vaughan II. "Given the critical work performed by child welfare services, we agree that this temporary action is urgent and necessary, and we look forward to working together with NCDHHS to strengthen our work with vulnerable children and families."
NCDHHS staff will be on site at the county's DSS during this interim period and will work closely with staff to manage and stabilize child welfare services, as well as, develop a plan to bring it into compliance with all applicable laws and appropriate practices.