GaFCP Receives Heart of the Community Award from CareSource

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Rachel McCoy of GaFCP, Linda Lunsford of GaFCP, Aaron Barfield of GaFCP, Bobby Cagle of CareSource, Elizabeth Turner of GaFCP, Gaye Smith of GaFCP, Adam Klein of CareSource, Jason Bearden of CareSource, Akia Lewis of GaFCP

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) received a 2024 Heart of the Community Award from CareSource last week for making a true impact on communities in Georgia. CareSource, an industry-leading, multi-state, multi-plan, government-sponsored health care organization that’s reimagining health care, recognized GaFCP for being at the forefront of providing access to impactful community programs and services for CareSource members and the community at large.

“It’s always been an inspiration what we have in Georgia, what GaFCP does in all 159 counties,” said Jason Bearden, president of the Georgia Market at CareSource. “Who else can boast that? It made a huge difference when I worked with GaFCP in my role as director of Health and Human Services in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and as CEO for Highland Rivers Health, how our community service boards engaged with our local Family Connection Collaboratives. My team at CareSource day in and day out talk about how invaluable it is when GaFCP links us to resources, connecting the continuum of system of care.”

CareSource celebrates meaningful programs and ongoing relationships with community collaborators. The CareSource Heart of the Community Award comes with a $1,000 honorarium and an additional $500 for a staff appreciation event or to add back to a program.

“When I’ve worked for different organizations across the country, I’ve always touted GaFCP as one of the most powerful organizations I’ve ever seen in terms of getting to the grass roots of what’s going on in the state,” said Bobby Cagle, CareSource executive director of Child Welfare in Georgia, who previously served as director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services. “Everyone I talk to says, ‘They really have 159 Collaboratives?’ This is a phenomenal organization that means so much to our children and families. We’re close partners because the work we’re doing is focused on communities need, and GaFCP understands that better than just about anybody in the state.”

GaFCP supports the Georgia Family Connection statewide network by providing expertise in planning and governance and technical assistance, by administering the state-appropriated funds for the local Collaboratives, and by setting standards of excellence and helping Collaboratives evaluate their progress in addressing the challenges in their communities. The state’s designated KIDS COUNT grantee, GaFCP also provides state agencies and policymakers at all levels with current, reliable data they need to inform decisions about improving outcomes for the children, families, and communities they serve.

“We’re hardwired for connection,” said Gaye Smith, GaFCP executive director. “As long as our Collaboratives provide the table where caring, committed people convene to empower their neighbors, no Georgian ever needs to feel alone. We appreciate that CareSource has sponsored some of our Collaboratives’ work and our biennial conference, which brings our one-of-a-kind statewide network together to engage in peer learning, discover new practices, and support each other. Our unique vantage point makes it possible for us to not only see the big picture, but also to operate effectively at the local level. We work toward measurably better outcomes for all Georgians. Our vision matches what CareSource believes and is working toward.”

Organizations that have received the CareSource Heart of the Community Award include the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Reach Out and Read Georgia, YMCA of Coastal Georgia, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Fathers Matter ATL, National Alliance on Mental Illness Georgia, Global Partnership for Telehealth, and Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.

“CareSource and GaFCP are aligned with the heart of each other’s mission to make a difference in Georgia,” said Bearden. “This is certainly a recognition this year, but also a lifetime. It feels like GaFCP has been at this for a lifetime and has made a huge difference across our state.”

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director

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Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) is a public-private partnership created by the State of Georgia and investors from the private sector to assist communities in addressing the serious challenges facing children and families. GaFCP also serves as a resource to state agencies across Georgia that work to improve the conditions of children and families. Georgia KIDS COUNT provides policymakers and citizens with current data they need to make informed decisions regarding priorities, services, and resources that impact Georgia’s children, youth, families, and communities. Georgia KIDS COUNT is funded, in part, through a grant from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. For more information.