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Gov. Deal signs child welfare reform into law
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ATLANTA (AP) — A bill streamlining Georgia's child welfare system has been signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The bill Deal signed Tuesday is aimed at improving communication among child welfare groups, including state agencies and foster parents.

The new law codifies an executive order giving Bobby Cagle, director of the Division of Family and Children Services, a more direct line to Deal while also creating advisory boards for making rules and delivering services within the agency.

It also grants foster parents and other care providers access to medical and educational records, and supports the sharing of data between agencies giving caseworkers a better picture of a child's or family's interaction with the state. The bill also re-establishes a Child Abuse Registry to handle cases in which evidence suggests abuse has occurred.