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Georgia’s Blueprint for Family First is our state’s philosophy for evolving the child welfare system. The focus of the Division of Family and Children Services is on strengthening families so more children can safely grow up at home and, over time, reduce removals to foster care overall.
The federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 is one of the essential tools we’re using to make these changes. The Family First Act allows federal Title IV-E funding to be used for evidence-based prevention services that help keep families together and keep kids out of foster care.
Other complimentary work within the Division, beyond the scope of the Act, is also part of Blueprint for Family First. All of this work has already begun and will grow in scope over the next several years.
We look forward to working with all of our community partners and stakeholders over the next several years on this important transformation for child welfare in our state.
All children deserve the opportunity to grow up in safe, stable and nurturing families. Georgia will use the tools provided by the Family First Act to build stronger families and brighter futures for our children and youth.
Kids of all ages need close family relationships to develop and grow. Trauma from family separation often results in a lifetime of emotional and psychological problems. Giving caregivers access to treatment and support services that improve their ability to safely care for their kids will mean more children and youth can grow up in their own homes, and families can stay together.
Our work with children, youth and families should use techniques and programs that have been proven to build strong families and keep children safe. These evidence-based practices will narrow the number of children and families who enter the child welfare system, in part by targeting those at greatest risk.
When children and teens cannot remain at home with their parents, staying with relatives is often a better option than removing the young person to foster care. Offering financial support and evidence-based programs to link kinship caregivers to a broad range of services and supports will help children remain safely with their extended families.
Transforming Georgia’s child welfare structure is a monumental task. To succeed, everyone with a stake in the child welfare system — including birth and foster parents, kinship caregivers, young people, child welfare professionals, non-profit and community organizations, policy makers and courts — will need to work together.
June 26, 2023
June 27, 2023
The Family First Act presents an opportunity to make changes so more children can remain safely with their parents and kinship caregivers.
The purpose of the Leadership Advisory Council is to make recommendations to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and engage child welfare system stakeholder groups to guide the planning and implementation efforts necessary for the successful fulfillment of the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First).
The Prevention Services Workgroup (PSW) is charged with informing DFCS’s vision and plan for a statewide expansion and alignment of services that can safely prevent children and youth from entering foster care.
Champions of Blueprint for Family First are some of the people and organizations working to put Georgia's plan for building stronger families into action, so more children can grow up safely at home.