Our Legislators Are Listening

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GaFCP Executive Director Gaye Smith and Voices for Georgia’s Children Executive Director Pat Willis got the opportunity to present at the House Children and Youth Committee meeting on Jan. 25.

 Because so many members of the House committee are new to the General Assembly, Gaye talked about how Georgia Family Connection improves outcomes for children and families through local partnerships, and highlighted your various successes. Pat expressed her concerns for children in the coming year.

 Legislators are curious about indicators that have improved, and are specifically interested in the counties that fared worse in low birthweight and child poverty.

Legislators in both the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Human Resources and General Government expressed their concerns about defunding Georgia Family Connection. Rep. Simone Bell asked Gaye how the proposed transfer of Georgia Family Connection to GOCF would impact our statewide network during the Family Connection presentation.

I was encouraged to see so many legislators who work with their Family Connection collaborative organizations acknowledging the calls and letters they received from the network.

After 20 years of collaborating to improve conditions for children and families in Georgia, people recognize Family Connection as the place where community partnership and relationships are strengthened so that together they can provide a broad range of services and supports to families in efficient ways.

Budget talks move to the Senate this week. GaFCP has been invited to testify at the Senate Appropriations committee meeting this Friday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m.

Our policymakers are listening and they value your work, but they need to hear more about it from the counties. Continue to educate our legislators while we do what we always do—speak up for you and your work on behalf of Georgia’s children and families.