Budget Passed to Help Children and Family Organizations

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County organizations that help improve the lives of children and families in Georgia could soon see a boost in funds for 2017.

The Georgia House passed the fiscal year 2017 budget for Georgia Family Connection Partnership to restore $1,000 dollars to each county collaborative.

“We are extremely excited about this kind of support. Each year the Georgia general assembly appropriates state funds for the Family Connection Collaborative in all 159 counties,” said Gaye Smith, executive director for Georgia Family Connection Partnership.

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) is a nonprofit public and private program that helps with improving lives of children and families in the state. They have a county Collaborative in all 159 counties in the state.

“Back in 2008 when we had a shortfall in state funds, all organizations and departments that received public funds had to experience a shortfall. So our counties, instead of receiving $50,000 that they were receiving each year, were reduced to $42,000 each,” said Smith. “Since state revenues have increased, the general assembly is trying to work to restore some of the cuts that were made from 2008 to 2011,” she added.

The budget passed by the House means counties will see an increase from $46,000 to $47,000. The fund increase could help counties with staffing and data.

“Georgia Family Connection also takes the state appropriation and leverages it $5 to $1, which is a pretty good return on investment for a public dollar. And that is, they turn to their partners, they do grant writing, and they have local community support of carrying out their strategic plans with this money, kind of the first core dollar in,” Smith said.

Smith said the Georgia House passing this is a testament to the hard work of all the people across the state, who work on behalf of children and families.

“It sends a message that what we do matters and is vitally important, so we’re very pleased with that. A $1,000 doesn’t sound like a lot, but in small rural counties they do so much with so little that a $1,000 does make a difference,” Smith said. “It’s also our 25th anniversary. We were created in 1991, so it’s also very special for us that the 25 years of work is being recognized by the House trying to get the county Collaborative restored back to the $50,000 level,” she added.

The budget recommendation is now at the Georgia Senate. If the Senate approves the increase it will head to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk.

Read the story on wfxl.com.

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director

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