The executive director of the North Dakota Association of Counties believes a redesign of county social services is going very well.
As of the first of the year, 19 “human service zones” have been created. Four of those zones are single counties – Cass, Burleigh, Grand Forks and Ward – and the rest are collapsed into units of two to six counties.
"All the employees have transferred to the host county," said Association executive director Terry Traynor. He said while it's a good start, there is a long way to go before everything is completed.
Tranyor said the overall goal is to improve services, and improve procedures.
"There's a number of work groups that are looking at child care licensing, abuse and neglect reporting, and all the different functions of social services," Traynor said. "How can we do those more efficiently, and move people more quickly to the benefits and services that they need?"
Traynor said there has already been a marked improvement in some of the pilot areas.
"As we roll those out statewide, we're very hopeful that we are going to see the same sort of improvement across the state," Traynor said.