Dozens of people gathered on Halifax Mall Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the passage of Rylan's Law which creates a regional system to manage foster care.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE LAW
Country singer-songwriter Jimmy Wayne performed to honor the foster children growing up in the same system that turned his life around.
The North Carolina native credits his foster parents for saving him from a life of violence and abuse.
"We need people on a grassroots level helping because we can't depend on the government to take care of our kids. It's not their responsibility. Everyone needs to do something," he said.
Rylan's Law is named after a Moore county toddler who wandered away from his home last year and drowned in a pond.
Months earlier, he was reunited with his mother who was accused of child abuse.
"We saw children in our home with broken bones, with cracked skulls, locked in closets in the dark. Having seen that, I cannot be silent," said Sen. Tamara Barringer, (R)-Wake.
Barringer, a foster parent for nearly a decade, helped pass the law.
County officials will now be required to make a series of visits before a child returns to their parent or guardian.
The law aims to ease the workload on overwhelmed case managers and respond to a crisis faster than the state Division of Social Services would.
It also gives foster children the chance to learn how to drive.
"This is an issue all across the state, children deserve a family, not a system," said Barringer.
Titianna Goings spent much of her life in North Carolina's foster system.
"It's a heartache, first of all, and when you transition to adulthood, you won't be productive. You go back into the same lifestyles you were removed from," she said.
After years of moving around, she eventually adopted her younger brother, now 3.
She hopes Rylan's Law protects more children from abusive homes.
"He motivates me. He really got me back on track with being responsible and consistent and advocating," she said.