Georgia Gov. Deal signs child welfare reform into law

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday signed into law a bill aimed at streamlining Georgia's child welfare system to make it more efficient and effective.

The measure seeks to protect Georgia's children by encouraging communication and data-sharing among and within state agencies and foster parents.

Deal said the law codifies an executive order giving Bobby Cagle, director of the Department of Family and Children Services, a more direct line to the governor's office while also creating advisory boards for making rules and delivering services within the agency.

Cagle will report directly to Deal rather than to the commissioner of the Department of Human Resources.

"There is perhaps nothing more harmful to a child than an abusive father or neglectful mother. But if there was, it would be a community that watched in silent disapproval, doing nothing," Deal said before sitting down at a table to sign the legislation.