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State plans to close Livingston child protection office

The state health department plans to close the Child and Family Services office in Livingston, transferring those cases to Bozeman while reallocating the five caseworker jobs to Billings to help with a large caseload there.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the announcement of the Aug. 6 closure raised concerns among numerous people including child advocates and law enforcement.

Officials with Court Appointed Special Advocate organizations in Livingston and Bozeman say the move would put additional pressure on caseworkers in the Bozeman office while CASA of Yellowstone County welcomed the move, saying it will help overwhelmed caseworkers in Billings.

Park County Sheriff Scott Hamilton said the closure would be a disaster and families in need of services would suffer.

Health department spokesman Chuck Council declined to comment Wednesday, saying there was an upcoming staff meeting to discuss some options.

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