§49-2B-1. Policy and purpose.
(a) It is the policy of the state to assist a child and the child's family as the basic unit of society through efforts to strengthen and preserve the family unit. In the event of a temporary or permanent absence of parents or the separation of a child from the family unit for care or treatment purposes, it is the policy of the state to assure that a child receives care and nurturing as close as possible to society's expectations of a family's care and nurturing of its child. The state has a duty to assure that proper and appropriate care is given and maintained.

(b) It is also the policy of this state to ensure that those persons and entities offering quality child care are not over-encumbered by licensure and registration requirements and that the extent of regulation of child care facilities and child placing agencies be moderately proportionate to the size of the facility.

(c) Through licensure, approval, and registration of child care, the state exercises its benevolent police power to protect the user of a service from risks against which he or she would have little or no competence for self protection. Licensure, approval, and registration processes shall, therefore, continually balance the child's rights and need for protection with the interests, rights and responsibility of the service providers.

(d) In order to carry out the above policy, the Legislature enacts this article to protect and prevent harm to children separated from their families and to enhance their continued growth and well-being while in care.

(e) The purposes of this article are:

(1) To protect the health, safety and well-being of children in substitute care by preventing improper and harmful care;

(2) To establish statewide rules for regulating programs as defined in this article;

(3) To encourage and assist in the improvement of child care programs;

(4) To ensure that persons and entities offering child care are not unduly burdened by licensure and registration requirements; and

(5) To ensure that all child care programs be safe, reliable and geared to the ages and needs of the children they serve, meet basic health and safety standards, and employ people who have the training and experience needed to work with children.

(f) In order to carry out these purposes, the powers of the child welfare licensing board created by chapter nineteen, Acts of the Legislature, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, are hereby transferred to the commissioner of human services, along with the other powers granted by this article.