ATLANTA – Georgia Department of Human Services Commissioner Keith Horton, on Tuesday, announced the location of two pilot projects for public-private partnerships in the foster care system.
Counties in northwest Georgia, central and northeast Georgia will pilot the public-private partnership model for the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
- DFCS Region 3 covers seven counties in Northwest Georgia, including Bartow, Cherokee, Douglas, Floyd, Haralson, Paulding, and Polk.
- DFCS Region 5 covers 11 counties in central and Northeast Georgia, including Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton.
Gov. Nathan Deal called for the pilot project in an executive order on April 10.
DFCS will immediately move forward with issuing a request for proposals from agencies to manage the recruitment, training and monitoring of foster homes and group homes, as well as coordinate placements, family visits and the delivery of services that ensure a child’s safety and physical, medical, dental and/or mental well-being.
“We are looking for agencies that understand trauma-informed practice and who can develop solid community relationships to support our children,” said Sharon Hill, director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services. “As with all of our programs, the safety, permanency and well-being of our children is the primary focus of this project.
Pilot regions were chosen based on an analysis by DFCS of several factors, including the number of children placed outside of the region due to a lack of local foster homes, the associated cost of transportation for those children and the capacity of existing local private providers. DFCS also met with local judges and other partners to determine local support for the pilot project.
“To give this project the opportunity to be successful, we had to make sure our needs matched our resources and that our partners were willing to be a part of this trial,” Horton said.