ATLANTA— The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has been selected as a member of the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP’s) Youth Thrive™ Learning Community. Georgia DFCS competed to be chosen as one of five national members.

As part of the new learning community, the Division will work with a national group of youth development experts with CSSP to incorporate the Youth Thrive framework into its policies and practices to better support the healthy development of youth in foster care. Youth Thrive is a research-informed lens for assessing and revising systems that impact young people’s lives. Youth Thrive’s approach is  based on extensive research in positive youth development, resilience, neuroscience, stress and the impact of trauma on brain development. 

The goal of the program is to create systemic changes that help reduce risks that youth experience while building protective and promotive factors that encourage their wellness.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to  work with other members of  this learning community to improve well-being outcomes of system-involved youth,” said Bobby Cagle, Director for Georgia DFCS. “We  will be examining the latest evidence-informed research and innovative practice strategies as we continually work to improve the outcomes of youth in our care.”

Over the coming months, the Division will work with CSSP to assess all aspects of work with children in care, including licensing procedures, community partnerships, leadership development and contracting with providers.

This Spring, Georgia DFCS will join the four other organizations selected—Westchester County Department of Social Services, Vermont Department for Children and Families, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, New York City Department of Probation-- and the original two Youth Thrive sites -- the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and the Brevard Family Partnership -- to exchange ideas and establish goals for 2016.

To learn more about the CSSP and the Youth Thrive Learning Community, visit