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N.H. Lawmakers Weigh Improving Protections For At-Risk Kids

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Hannah McCarthy/NHPR
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New Hampshire lawmakers met Friday to discuss policy changes to better protect at-risk kids. The effort comes on the heels of an outside review that faulted the state’s child protection agency. 

The Child Protection Act applies to cases when there’s clear evidence of child abuse or neglect, but a special legislative commission hopes to introduce a middle step between unfounded and founded reports of abuse. John DeJoie, with Child and Family Services, was part of a group that suggested another option for state health officials.

"This is an opportunity for the department to issue to a person who a report is against – that is not founded – to put into a confidential letter what the concerns are, what they noticed, what they recommend, potentially in terms of services, in terms of treatment, in terms of additional steps," said DeJoie, "And that that would become part of the case record."

The groups will meet again in two weeks to decide what changes to the act need to be made in the coming months. 

Hannah McCarthy first came to NHPR an intern in 2015, returned as a Fellow the following year and then bounced around as a reporter and producer before landing as co-host of Civics 101. She has reported on everything from the opioid epidemic to State House politics to haunted woods of New Hampshire.

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