In 2017, the N.C. General Assembly enacted expansive legislation related to social services system reform and improvement. S.L. 2017-41 (H 630), as amended by S.L. 2017-102 (H 229). Part I of the law focuses primarily on the need to (1) enhance state supervision of the administration of social services programs by the counties and (2) improve collaboration between counties. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is required to submit a plan for establishing regional offices to the General Assembly by November 15, 2018, with the expectation that the system of regional supervision will be operational by March 1, 2020.

In developing the plan, DHHS must take into consideration recommendations from the Social Services Regional Supervision and Collaboration Working Group (Working Group). The Working Group will have 18 members representing different groups and stakeholders, including legislators, DHHS, judiciary, county commissioners, social services directors, and social services attorneys. There will be two co-chairs, one from the Senate and one from the House of Representatives. The UNC School of Government is required to convene the Working Group, facilitate the meetings, and provide administrative and technical support to the effort.  The co-chairs are authorized to establish ad hoc subcommittees to gather information from various experts and stakeholder organizations.

The Working Group is required to prepare two reports. The first is due by April 15, 2018 and must include recommendations regarding:

  • The size, number, and location of the regional state offices.
  • The allocation of responsibility between central/Raleigh, regional, and local/county officials in supervising and administering social services programs.
  • Methods for holding the regional offices accountable for performance and responsiveness.
  • Information sharing between the regional offices and the boards of county commissioners regarding local department performance.
  • Options for authorizing the board of county commissioners to intervene in program administration prior to the state assuming direct control of service delivery.

The second report is due by February 1, 2019 and must include:

  • Recommendations regarding legislative and regulatory changes necessary to improve collaboration between counties. Specifically, the recommendations must address information sharing, conflicts of interest, and intercounty movement of clients.
  • A vision for transitioning the State from a county-administered system to a regionally-administered system.

The School of Government will use this website to share information with the Working Group members and the general public.  

Public Officials - Courts and Judicial Administration Roles
Topics - Courts and Judicial Administration
Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles