NC bill would toughen rules for parent-child reunification

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The court-appointed guardian for toddler who drowned after he was reunited with his mother says a bill would fix a small but important part of a broken social services system in North Carolina.

Pam Reed was guardian ad litem for Rylan Ott, the 23-month-old who wandered away from his Moore County home in April 2016 and drowned in a pond. He died four months after he had been returned to his mother even though no social worker had observed the two together.

The bill would require social workers to observe and document two successful visits for a judge before children and parents are reunited. Reed says the requirement would give children an extra layer of security.

A House committee approved the bill Thursday and referred it to another committee.