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Politics & Government

Counties concerned about proposed changes in social service delivery system

ND Association of Counties

North Dakota counties are concerned about proposals pending to restructure how human services are delivered.

The reorganization is being spearheaded by the state Department of Human Services, and is before a Legislative interim committee.

One of the proposals is to create "zones" for social services.

"We have a variety of counties from large to small, some who have formed multi-county units," said North Dakota Association of Counties executive director Terry Traynor. "What's coming out of the interim study is that we should have more of that, to have the critical mass necessary to deliver the services."

Traynor said some of the counties have what he called a "valid fear" about this.

"If resources are combined, some of the smaller counties may not see their 'used-to' level of service," Traynor said. "That's a real important point."
Traynor said any Legislative effort to redesign social services should make sure access remains wherever it is now.

Traynor said the full proposal has yet to be rolled-out. He said while the devil's in the details, some good will come from this.

"The recognition that the focus has been on better service, maintaining access, is a positive," Traynor said.

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