Your Georgia Desk
From Governor Nathan Deal
Deal releases Child Welfare Reform Council recommendations
Gov. Nathan Deal today released the final report of recommendations from his Child Welfare Reform Council. Deal tasked the council in March 2014 with improving Georgia’s child welfare system by completing a comprehensive review of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and advising on possible executive agency reforms and legislative actions.
“Last year, I called to action our state’s top child welfare advocates, administrators, legislators and experts to improve a system in clear need of meaningful reform,” said Deal. “I’m proud to say that this council heeded my call, and then some. As we enter the 2015 legislative session, these recommendations will provide a framework for strengthening the system and allow us to better serve our state’s children and those who work to protect them. Every child deserves his or her best shot at a good life, and the work of this council is a step toward providing just that.”
The recommendations work to address the challenges facing the child welfare system in the categories of safety, permanency and well-being. The council recommends the establishment of vertically integrated advisory boards to streamline internal communication and improve service delivery to families across the state. To promote the safety and security of DFCS caseworkers in the field, the strengthening of relationships between law enforcement and DFCS is critical. Also to bolster security efforts, the council recommends that technological options such as ‘panic buttons’ be explored as ways to increase the safety of caseworkers in the field, and joint training sessions be conducted with local and state law enforcement officials. Another recommendation is to increase state agencies’ ability to share data and custodial records, which would allow caseworkers to have an up-to-date, accurate and complete picture of a child’s records and improve overall caseworker effectiveness.Continue Reading..