Stable Self-Sufficient, Productive Families
At Georgia Family Connection, we help ensure that all Georgians can become—and remain—productive citizens. We are empowering our hard-working families across the state to be stable and self-sufficient through partner initiatives such as:
After 18 months of laying the groundwork, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) began implementing a new evidence-informed Georgia Practice Model for child welfare casework in 2016.
The new model prioritizes working in partnership with families, focuses on pragmatic solutions to difficult situations, and notices and celebrates change. The architecture of the new practice model, Solution Based Casework, was developed through years of consultation with workers and supervisors who were attempting to remedy problems contributing to recurrence of abuse and neglect. However, the model is applicable to a wide range of family problems.
Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) has been partnering with DFCS since 2015 to engage communities throughout the state to gather input on the new reforms to our child welfare system. GaFCP also participates as a member of the advisory board that helped develop the new practice model, and as a member of the Child Welfare Training Collaborative Advisory Board, which assists with implementing a new training institute.
In partnership with DFCS, Office of Prevention and Community Support, GaFCP leads a Family Support Cohort of six counties focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating child abuse and neglect prevention county-specific strategies. Three in five Georgians have reported at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) such as substance abuse, emotional abuse, and domestic violence. Comprehensive prevention requires efforts to support parents and families before they become known to the DFCS system. This approach includes providing a continuum of contact and support to all families based on level of need while promoting and strengthening parental engagement and working with partners in understanding their role as a part of the Family Support system.
The work of Georgia Family Connection Collaboratives in Dade, Dougherty, Floyd, Lanier, Lumpkin, and Webster counties is designed to have collective impact, including county-specific strategy as well as a cohort-wide shared vision and measurement systems. The approach includes five key strategies detailed by the CDC Division of Violence Prevention:
- strengthening economic supports to families;
- changing social norms to support parents and positive parenting;
- providing quality care and education early in life;
- enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy child development; and
- intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risk.
GaFCP is part of the steering committee and co-chairs the Data Workgroup for Georgia Essentials for Childhood, part of a comprehensive effort for child abuse and neglect prevention across several states using the Essentials for Childhood framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The aim is to build resilient communities, address and prevent adverse childhood experiences, improve community environments, and reduce and destigmatize trauma.
Part of this work includes support of the statewide rollout of the Statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Plan released in 2020. As a blueprint for action, this plan is imperative to ensure that all Georgia’s children and families have equitable opportunities and necessary support to thrive in safe, stable, connected, and nurturing communities where they live, learn, work, and play. Three Family Connection Collaboratives, Brantley, Screven, and Wilcox are taking the lead as the convening partner in their region.