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Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section 428.010 requires that “To the extent that money may be lawfully appropriated by the board of county commissioners for this purpose…every county shall provide care, support and relief to the poor, indigent, incompetent and those incapacitated by age, disease or accident, lawfully resident therein, when those persons are not supported or relieved by their relatives or guardians, by their own means, or by state hospitals, federal or private institutions or agencies.”

This section of the statute continues “Expect as otherwise provided in NRS 439B.330, the boards of county commissioners of the several counties shall establish and approve policies and standards, prescribe a uniform standard of eligibility, appropriate money for this purpose and appoint agents who will develop regulations and administer these programs to provide care, support and relief to the poor, indigent, incompetent and those incapacitated by age, disease or accident.”

NRS 432B.325 requires that “Each county whose population is 100,000 or more shall provide protective services for children in that county and pay the cost of those services.” The statute further states that services must be provided in accordance with the standards adopted by the State. In 2001, the state legislature expanded the county’s responsibility to include all child welfare services of child protection, foster care and adoption (NRS 432B.030 and NRS 432B.044).

NRS 432A.131 permits the licensing of child care facilities in any county or incorporated city by an agency designated by ordinance to do so.

Washoe County Ordinance No. 747 created the Washoe County Department of Social Services to assist those applicants eligible under County programs. Pursuant to NRS 428.010 the County Board of Commissioners adopted Guidelines and Standards for the various programs administered by the Department.