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State Child and Family Law Committee will not be eliminated

Child custody arrangements can be complicated, and there's always a possibility of needing to work with the state to create the best situation for a child. You may work with your attorney to ask for visitation rights, or you may want to work with the state to adopt a new child into your family. The state child protection agency helps parents who want to get their children out of dangerous situations and also steps in when others can't. It helps deal with changes to state laws regarding adoption and can also work with divorce law.

Recently, Republican leaders in New Hampshire tried to eliminate the Children and Family Law Committee, because they believed that other committees could do the same work. However, those in support of the committee stated that the elimination of this important committee would put children at risk as the state has been attempting to improve its child protection agency.

In December 2016, there was an independent review of the Division for Children, Youth and Families after two toddlers were killed. They had been under the division's protection at the time. The review suggested a number of changes including hiring more social workers and strengthening the state's neglect statutes.

The committee helps deal with this kind of situation, improving and implementing new laws. It has the potential to work with child custody, divorce and adoption laws, depending on the changes being made in the state. Since the committee will not be disbanded, 12 new members will need to be appointed. Previously, it was believed that it was going to be eliminated, so no one was appointed to fill the positions.

Situations like this point out how important it is to protect children and families, and making small changes at the state level can help. More social workers and better laws can help keep children and families from all backgrounds safer.

Source: Concord Monitor, "Defying Republican leaders, House votes to keep child and family law committee," Allie Morris, Jan. 04, 2017

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