ATLANTA – Georgia’s Social Services agency announced a novel community-based prevention initiative on Monday. 

Through the use of incentives, the Division hopes to encourage increased collaboration between nonprofits, government, businesses and other community groups on prevention efforts.

Led by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, in partnership with Georgia State University (Child Welfare Training Collaborative) and Georgia Family Connection partnership, the initiative is called State of Hope. The goal is to transform Georgia into a collection of communities where children and families have the support they need to thrive and the security to be hopeful about their future.

The announcement was made at the agency’s third annual luncheon honoring outstanding foster parents from across Georgia who are part of caring for the 15,000 children in state custody.

“Ultimately through State of Hope, we desire to activate communities around prevention efforts, in order to keep children from entering the foster care system in the first place.” said Virginia Pryor, Director of Family and Children Services. “Our work is about prevention of child abuse and neglect, intervention only when needed and ultimately the restoration of families.”

The intention of the seed funding and technical assistance is to encourage communities to collaborate closely to build local safety nets that will prevent conditions that attribute to disparities in education, threaten a family’s self-sufficiency and lead to child abuse and neglect. Pryor said.

“We cannot do this work alone,” she said. “It takes every all of us working together. Each and every one of us can be hope-givers in our respective communities.”

Planning for the State of Hope program has been in the works for roughly a year. Organizations will be invited to apply for their projects to be designated as State of Hope sites. Three to five sites will be chosen to receive seed funding and technical assistance, however, all applicants will be invited to become part of a network for building partnerships, sharing ideas, and accessing resources.

For questions or to be added to the State of Hope email distribution list, please email

To learn more about being a foster parent or ways to support them, call 1-800-210-KIDS or go to