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Georgia Senate passes bill to privatize child welfare services

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The Georgia Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that requires the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to bid out some of their child welfare services through contracts with private providers.

The S.B. 350 lists adoption, family preservation, independent living, emergency shelter, foster care, case management, and post-placement supervision as some of the services that would be privatized.

This legislative action on child welfare follows a series of high-profile stories publicized in recent months about child mistreatment and deaths under the Georgia Division of Family and Children's Services' (DFCS) watch.

According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), 55 Georgia children reported to DFCS died in the first quarter of 2013.

The S.B. 350, authored by state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), aims to take the government bureaucracy out of the system and focus on treatment.

The bill passed 31-18 after a two-hour debate.

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