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Cherokee Reorganizing DSS

800px-Eastern_Band_CherokeeThe death of a girl three years ago is providing much of the motivation behind Cherokee reorganizing its social services. In 2011, Aubrey Littlejohn died.  An investigation found she was neglected, and abused, and died with a body temperature of 84 degrees. Family members say Swain County DSS didn’t do enough to protect her. Swain County social worker Candice Lassiter pleaded guilty to attempting to cover up the agency’s role after Littlejohn’s death. Tribal leaders are now restructuring its medical division into a Health and Human Services Department. In turn, it will take over child protective services from surrounding counties. The reorganization will take a year to year and a half to complete. All social services for adults and children will be centralized in one location. A director is expected to be named this week, and the director will decide how many people might be hired.