February 29, 2024

Recruiting the Next Generation of Parent Leaders

February is National Parent Leadership Month, a time to recognize the vital role of parents and caregivers as advocates for children, families, and communities, and to encourage parents to take advantage of leadership opportunities. The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) honors parents for the efforts and sacrifices they make to create stronger families across the state.  

This month highlights the opportunities available for parents through partnering with the child welfare system to educate others on the programs and services that support safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments. When parents contribute their expertise and experience, DFCS gains invaluable knowledge that is then used to improve policies to strengthen and support families.  

In June 2019, DFCS formed the Georgia Parent Advisory Council (GAPAC) to cultivate and encourage parent partnerships. 

The GAPAC was created to advise DFCS about changes needed within child welfare services and systems, particularly child abuse prevention programming. The council serves as a sounding board for decisions, ideas, and questions that help shape the future of DFCS. GAPAC comprises a diverse group of up to 16 parents from various communities. These individuals have a range of personal experiences within the child welfare system or success using community support services to strengthen their own families.  

Since the creation of the GAPAC, council members have been active participants in division meetings, child welfare conferences, presentations, focus groups, and provided guidance on agency projects that have improved the child welfare system.  

We currently have five openings on the GAPAC in DFCS Regions 3, 8, 9, 10, and 12. 

We encourage applications from: 

  • Fathers 

  • Kinship caregivers 

  • Foster and adoptive parents 

  • Parents in recovery for 18 months or more 

  • Parents with previous involvement in the child protective services system with a case that has been closed for a minimum of 8-12 months  

  • Parents with experience using community-based prevention services such as: parent support groups, home visiting programs, family or community resource centers, etc.  

For more information about the GAPAC and how to apply, click here.