Union Co. commissioners take control of Human Services Board - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union Co. commissioners take control of Human Services Board

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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

The Union County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to take direct control of the County's Human Services Board Monday, creating a Human Services Advisory Committee.

The committee, which consists of eleven members, will officially dissolve the Human Services Board established in February 2013.

On Feb. 18, 2013, the Board of Commissioners formed a Consolidated Human Services Agency to carry out the functions performed by the Union County Department of Social Services and Health Department, a Consolidated Human Services Board, and the position of Human Services director to be appointed and supervised by the county manager.

At that time, officials said, the two departments reported to independent appointed boards in which the county had limited oversight.

The changes come in the wake of a DSS supervisor being fired after an 11-year-old boy was found chained to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

Investigators said Wanda Sue Larson, and her partner Dorian Harper, chained the boy by his ankle to a porch outside. 

In November 2013, Union County officials asked the state to review all the cases Larson handled in her ten-year career as a child protective supervisor.

In late December, WBTV learned an audit from almost three years ago showed Union County DSS mishandled seven out of ten randomly chosen cases.

But Union County Commissioners said they were not aware that a 2011 report done by the North Carolina Department of Health and Social Services showed that out of 10 cases reviewed by the state only three conformed to the state's standards as being handled properly.

Officials said in a statement released Monday, "According to the resolution, the Board of Commissioners believes it is in the best interests of the citizens of Union County for the Board of Commissioners to become more closely engaged with the activities of the Consolidated Human Services Agency through the Board of Commissioners' assumption of all powers, responsibilities, and duties of the Human Services Board."

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