Grantee’s stories unearth deficiencies in North Carolina welfare system, sparking change

Illustration by Brittain Peck / Carolina Public Press

“Dodging Standards,” a series of stories by Carolina Public Press reporter Kate Martin exposed a series of deficiencies in North Carolina’s child welfare system, including that state officials had long known that counties paying less for social services workers experienced substantial turnover in staffing and hired unqualified workers. Since the series, supported by the Fund, was published in March, the state government has taken over management of Bertie County’s child welfare services and stepped up oversight of Cherokee County. After the state intensified its scrutiny of Cherokee County’s Department of Social Services, the assistant director resigned, Martin reported.