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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 10:53AM

Ga. Senate OKs bill to privatize foster care

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that would privatize some state child welfare services.

State senators voted 31-18 in a largely partisan vote Tuesday, and the bill now heads to the House for consideration.

The bill would allow approved faith and community-based organizations to contract for handling services such as adoption, foster care and case management. The state would retain responsibility for investigating child abuse claims.

Republicans had argued the changes were necessary to fix a broken system and highlighted the recent deaths of two children. Democrats had opposed the bill, arguing the reforms wouldn't address the underlying issues in those deaths, which involved children not in foster care.

Any change to privatization would be contingent on the state receiving a federal waiver.
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