Union Co. commissioners assume responsibilities of Human Services Board

by: Blair Miller Updated:

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MONROE, N.C. —

The Union County Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution to take direct control of the county's Human Services Board and created a Human Services Advisory Committee consisting of 11 members. The Human Services Board established last February is dissolved, according to a news release from the county.

The Board of Commissioners formed a Consolidated Human Services Agency on Feb. 18 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 the time, the two departments reported to independent, separate appointed boards in which the county had limited oversight other than fiduciary.

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.

The county's DSS system came under scrutiny after former supervisor Wanda Larson and her husband were charged with child abuse.

Investigators said they found the couple's 11-year-old foster son handcuffed to their front porch in Monroe, with a dead chicken tied around his neck.

The couple was indicted on abuse and other charges related to the case.

Larson was fired from her job as a supervisor in child protective services.

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