Part 6. Social Services Commission.

143B-153. Social Services Commission - creation, powers and duties.

There is hereby created the Social Services Commission of the Department of Health and Human Services with the power and duty to adopt rules and regulations to be followed in the conduct of the State's social service programs with the power and duty to adopt, amend, and rescind rules and regulations under and not inconsistent with the laws of the State necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Article. Provided, however, the Department of Health and Human Services shall have the power and duty to adopt rules and regulations to be followed in the conduct of the State's medical assistance program. [The Commission has the following powers and duties:]

(1) The Social Services Commission is authorized and empowered to adopt such rules and regulations that may be necessary and desirable for the programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services as provided in Chapter 108A of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina.

(2) The Social Services Commission shall have the power and duty to establish standards and adopt rules and regulations:

a. For the programs of public assistance established by federal legislation and by Article 2 of Chapter 108A of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina with the exception of the program of medical assistance established by G.S. 108A-25(b);

b. To achieve maximum cooperation with other agencies of the State and with agencies of other states and of the federal government in rendering services to strengthen and maintain family life and to help recipients of public assistance obtain self-support and self-care;

c. For the placement and supervision of dependent juveniles and of delinquent juveniles who are placed in the custody of the Juvenile Justice Section of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, and payment of necessary costs of foster home care for needy and homeless children as provided by G.S. 108A-48;

d. For the payment of State funds to private child-placing agencies as defined in G.S. 131D-10.2(4) and residential child care facilities as defined in G.S. 131D-10.2(13) for care and services provided to children who are in the custody or placement responsibility of a county department of social services. The Commission shall establish standardized rates for child caring institutions. In establishing standardized rates, the Commission shall consider the rate-setting recommendations provided by the Office of the State Auditor; and

e. For client assessment and independent case management pertaining to the functions of county departments of social services for public assistance programs authorized under paragraph a. of this subdivision.

(2a) The Social Services Commission shall have the power and duty to establish standards and adopt rules and regulations:

a. For social services programs established by federal legislation and by Article 3 of G.S. Chapter 108A;

b. For implementation of Title XX of the Social Security Act, except for Title XX services provided solely through the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, by promulgating rules and regulations in the following areas:

1. Eligibility for all services established under a Comprehensive Annual Services Plan, as required by federal law;

2. Standards to implement all services established under the Comprehensive Annual Services Plan;

3. Maximum rates of payment for provision of social services;

4. Fees for services to be paid by recipients of social services;

5. Designation of certain mandated services, from among the services established by the Secretary below, which shall be provided in each county of the State; and

6. Title XX services for the blind, after consultation with the Commission for the Blind.

Provided, that the Secretary is authorized to promulgate all other rules in at least the following areas:

1. Establishment, identification, and definition of all services offered under the Comprehensive Annual Services Plan;

2. Policies governing the allocation, budgeting, and expenditures of funds administered by the Department;

3. Contracting for and purchasing services; and

4. Monitoring for effectiveness and compliance with State and federal law and regulations.

(3) The Social Services Commission shall have the power and duty to establish and adopt standards:

a. For the inspection and licensing of maternity homes as provided by G.S. 131D-1;

b. Repealed by Session Laws 1999-334, s. 3.5, effective October 1, 1999.

c. For the inspection and licensing of child-care institutions as provided by G.S. 131D-10.5;

d. For the inspection and operation of jails or local confinement facilities as provided by G.S. 153A-220 and Article 2 of Chapter 131D of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina;

e. Repealed by Session Laws 1981, c. 562, s. 7.

f. For the regulation and licensing of charitable organizations, professional fund-raising counsel and professional solicitors as provided by Chapter 131D of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina.

(4) The Social Services Commission shall have the power and duty to authorize investigations of social problems, with authority to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of necessary documents.

(5) The Social Services Commission shall have the power and duty to ratify reciprocal agreements with agencies in other states that are responsible for the administration of public assistance and child welfare programs to provide assistance and service to the residents and nonresidents of the State.

(6) The Commission is authorized and empowered to adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of this State, as may be required by the federal government of grants-in-aid for social services purposes which may be made available for the State by the federal government. This section is to be liberally construed in order that the State and its citizens may benefit from such grants-in-aid.

(7) The Commission shall adopt rules and regulations consistent with the provisions of this Chapter. All rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter heretofore adopted by the Board of Social Services shall remain in full force and effect unless and until repealed or superseded by action of the Social Services Commission. All rules and regulations adopted by the Commission shall be enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

(8) The Commission may establish by regulation, except for Title XX services provided solely through the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, rates or fees for:

a. A fee schedule for the payment of the costs of necessary child care in licensed facilities and registered plans for minor children of needy families.

b. A fee schedule for the payment by recipients for services which are established in accordance with Title XX of the Social Security Act and implementing regulations; and

c. The payment of an administrative fee not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00) to be paid by public or nonprofit agencies which employ students under the Plan Assuring College Education (PACE) program.

d. Child support enforcement services as defined by G.S. 110-130.1.

(9) The Commission shall adopt rules governing the obligations of counties to contribute financially to regional social services departments in accordance with G.S. 108A-15.3A(e). (1973, c. 476, s. 134; 1975, c. 747, s. 2; 1977, c. 674, s. 7; 1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1219, ss. 26, 27; 1981, c. 275, s. 5; c. 562, s. 7; c. 961, ss. 1-3; 1983, c. 278, ss. 1, 2; c. 527, s. 2; 1985, c. 206; c. 479, s. 96; c. 689, s. 29f; 1991, c. 462, s. 1; c. 636, s. 19(d); c. 689, s. 105; c. 761, s. 28; 1993, c. 553, s. 46; 1995, c. 449, s. 4; c. 535, s. 32; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1997-456, s. 22; 1997-506, s. 55; 1998-202, s. 4(z); 1999-334, s. 3.5; 2000-111, s. 4; 2000-137, s. 4(dd); 2000-140, s. 99(a); 2006-66, s. 10.2(c); 2011-145, s. 19.1(l); 2017-41, s. 4.5; 2017-102, s. 40(e); 2017-186, s. 2(hhhhhh).)