Weekly Update February 23, 2018

Life in the Fast Lane


As I think of the last few weeks, two songs come to mind…"Life In the Fast Lane" by the Eagles and “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten. Both have meaning as I look back over our work at the Capitol so far.

Time spent at the Georgia Capitol is truly “Life In the Fast Lane”. Sometimes that means chasing a legislator with our lobbyist Helen Sloat down the hall and talking to them about the Rate Increase as that legislator is headed to the next meeting. Thank goodness Helen knows  all of them and they respect her because they do listen to us as we chase. I have actually seen others chase a legislator and be completely ignored. There are also times when, I find myself running from one hearing to another and sometimes that may mean one is in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building and the other is in the Capitol. To get a true visual of this, you must remember that I do not know my way around either building and can sometimes get lost. That usually results in a panic text to our lobbyists Stan and Helen with one of them patiently helping me get to where I need to go.

It is important to be at those hearings and many members have joined me there to testify on your behalf about the need for the requested Rate Increase. It is also “Life In the Fast Lane” in that things happen quickly which means I am sometimes emailing members the day before when we have just learned that public comment will be allowed at a hearing. To those of you who have responded to those emails, thank you!! Soon we should know what the House has put in their budget as to our request. As soon as we do, I will let you know and the work will begin in the Senate.

As we travel this “Fast Lane”, we are also watching other bills that are important to you. Senator Brass has dropped SB 429 which is the Bill that addresses competitive bidding. We will continue to watch this Bill and like all other Bills, you too can advocate with your legislators for it to pass. As other Bills which may or may not affect any of our members come to my attention, I am sending them to TGa’s members for guidance as to how we should proceed. If anything is brought to your attention, please let me know and we are on it as we travel down the legislative “Fast Lane”.

When I was discussing the legislative items which are important to TGa’s members, someone from DFACS said to me….”You are certainly passionate”. Yes, I am passionate when it comes to what I believe is not only the much needed but also the much deserved rate increase. Swell as other issues which affect the children you serve. Which is what makes me think of the song, “Stand By You”. Each of you have been true to those words for each child you touch each and every day. The children and families you serve know they can count on you to stand by them and you can know that as I advocate for all of you I will “Stand By You”. For me that means, making sure everyone I speak to knows the importance of the work you do not just for those children and families but for our State. I will continue to “Stand by You” as I have the privilege and honor of sharing that information as your Executive Director.

Tuesday is the 23rd Day of the Session. Most of you know the Session is 40 Days. So there are still 17 Days for all of us to work on the issues that directly impact you as providers and impact the lives of the children you serve. It is hard but meaningful work as we do so.Thank You, Juanita

WEEK IN BRIEF - 2018 legislative session

Mark your calendar for Wednesday,  February 28--Crossover Day 2018. This is one of the most important days in the legislative session when bills must pass from one chamber to the other in order to make it through the current legislative session.  

HB 972  On behalf of Wendell Willard, Mary Margaret Oliver presented the DFCS bill, HB 972, to the House Juvenile Justice Committee meeting this morning. The bill seems to be a straightforward proposal to provide compliance with federal criteria around the Independent Living Program ensure that Georgia may draw down federal dollars for the Independent Living Program.  Committee Chair, Rep. Ballinger, expressed concern with fiscal impact and held the vote.  Rep. Oliver questioned the concern noting that the bill is designed to draw down federal funding rather than creating additional costs.  Ballinger questions that once codified, could there be more children who avail themselves to  ILP. There are currently approximately 700 youth in the program.  

SB 375 "Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act" passed by substitute the Senate this afternoon. 
 (AJC aricle)

HB 853 Quality Basic Education Act passed/adopted by the House on February 22.

Family First Preservation Service Act (FFPSA) - In a recent discussion held by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Marlo Nash provided an update on the FFPSA. Referenced was an Op Ed by Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner at the Children’s Bureau, and the Acting Commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.  [link here to review views on child welfare]. A desire is expressed for true prevention and high quality safe and stable communities. New development in conversation is to blend and braid funding to create strong communities. Thinking is around different streams of funding.  Rule making is the next step. It was noted that Dr. Milner does not anticipate the timeline will align with rule making.  He does not want to rush the process; he wants to include the community voices. Purportedly, there is an effort to prevent States from taking the new use of IVE and replacing previous state funding. There is a lack of clarity. Involvement in rule making will be important—it will provide a way to get clarity and express concerns. Work with HHS may help mitigate concerns. 

TG Legislative matrix 02.23.2018 -  please forward to us bills you would like to include in the matrix. 

Daily Update February 23, 2018 - Preparation for Child Abuse Prevention Month April 2018
Daily Update February  22, 2018 - ILP workshop request
Daily Update February 21, 2018 - Legislation introduced for rural prosperity center
Daily Update February 20, 2018  - Rural Child Welfare Practice


Executive Retreat 2018
Tuesday, April 24-Wednesday, April 25,  
Program Description: This two-day event is filled with opportunity for Together Georgia member executive directors and senior level staff to engage in meaningful conversations with state leaders and receive updates from the national perspective. This retreat is designed to create a positive atmosphere with thought leaders in a relaxed setting where we can build relationships and engage in productive dialogue. Our desire is to improve collaboration and practices for those we collectively serve. There will be ample opportunity to network with your colleagues in a relaxed and comfortable setting. 
Presenters: Susan Dreyfus, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, TG lobbyists, and State Collaborative and Leaders
Location: Westin, Jekyll Island
Registration fee: $100 attendee $175 exhibitor link to registration 
►space is limited Hotel Room Reservation: $189 online reservation or by phone 1-888-627-8316 (Identify with event, Together Georgia Executive Retreat)
Contact office@gahsc.org

The TG Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting will be held in tandem with the Executive Retreat at Jekyll Island:
April 24 10:00AM - Board Meeting
April 24 1:00PM - Annual Membership Meeting

Member Calendar - https://togetherga.net/index.php/events/list-by-month/month.calendar/2018/02/23/-


Effective Teams and Collaboration

Together Georgia Provider Alliance in collaboration with The University of Georgia J. W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development offers the following training.  

Effective Teams and Collaboration
►NEXT WEEK Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 10:00am - 2:00pm  
Program Description: Working together is crucial to ensure the best outcomes for children in care. This interactive session will help participants identify their personal styles, understand how their work preferences may impact others, and identify methods to improve professional and client relationships.
Presenters: David Meyers, MSW & Brendan Leahy, Ed.D.
Location: Youth Villages/Inner Harbor, 4685 Dorsett Road, Douglasville, GA 30135
Cost for training and lunch: $85 (TG members receive complimentary registration--email office@gahsc.org to request code.)  link to registration 
Contact office@gahsc.org

Mark your 2018 calendar for additional training topics:

3/29 - Leadership Development for Midlevel Managers
4/19 - Leadership for Frontline Staff
5/23 - Effective Supervision
8/21 - Working with LGBTQ youth
9/18 - Working in a Multigenerational Workplace
11/1 -  Telemental Health
12/4 - Autism Spectrum


Georgia Conference on Children and Families 
October 17-19, 2018 - Marriott Augusta
►now available - see early sign up for sponsorships at http://www.georgiachild.org//2018/gccfsponsorship2018.htm

2018 TG/Fanning training
Archived:  TG Salary Survey:  The 2016 survey is now closed.  Click here to view results (You will need to download the document and open it to view all of the columns.)


Please note Together Georgia has a Job Bank to which TG members may post notices on the website at www.togetherga.net.   The system is new and members will need to log in with username and password that was previously provided to member agency directors. (Username is the first initial and last name of agency director; password, if forgotten may be reset - reset will go to the agency director's inbox. )


Together Georgia
 corporate sponsors/partners improve services and can save your agency thousands of dollars annually. click here to review.

An email newsletter as a public service Editor   

Our MISSION: Together Georgia is a preeminent voice in Georgia's child and family welfare policy-making.

Our VISION: Together Georgia will ensure that member organizations are equipped to serve those that their missions are tied to through distributing emerging data as well as by collaborating with key government figures and pertinent decision makers