Weekly Update March 16, 2018

How Will FFPSA Affect  Child Welfare Providers?

This is the question of the day: How will the Family First Preservation Services Act affect providers?

What is in the future for Child Caring Institution programs? How will Child Placing Agencies prepare for FFPSA? What opportunities will there be around preservation services? And the big question: How will the State of Georgia move forward?

Timelines could vary.  If we opt in at the earliest opportunity, providers would need to be prepared for changes as early as October 1, 2019.  There are options to delay. The State assures us that they will dialogue with providers throughout the process of developing strategy for implementation in Georgia.  Linked is a good overview of the timeline summarized by The Children's Defense Fund. (Additional  overviews and summaries are posted below). 

We cannot state this loudly enough--providers need to become educated about FFPSA. This discussion will be front and center at our upcoming Executive Retreat scheduled April 24 & 25. Please don't miss this opportunity to hear from providers who recently attended the public policy institute in Washington DC. Also, participating will be DFCS director, Ginger Pryor, and  Susan Dreyfus from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities who will deliver some national perspectives. (See information below for Executive Retreat registration and reservation links.)

Additional information from the public policy institute will be forthcoming--please stay tuned.  


WEEK IN BRIEF - 2018 legislative session

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met on March 13 and passed HB 972 by substitute as amended. This bill helps DFCS comply with federal law to obtain federal funding in serving youth between 18-21 years of age. The Committee reported favorably to the Senate and the bill was read a second time on March 15. It should now process through Rules before it comes back to the floor for a vote.  This bill is sponsored by Rep. Wendell Willard who is scheduled to retired this year after having served 18 years as a legislator.  He has been a strong ally to child welfare providers during his tenure--we appreciate everything he has done to shape the environment for serving Georgia's children and families.  

The Senate on March 12 read and referred to Senate Appropriations HB 648  for the FY 19 budget. Included in the House approved version is a 2.5% rate increase for RBWO providers and $3.75 per diem increase for CPA foster parents. We are optimistic that the Senate will fill in another $1.25 for the foster parents bringing the total  up to the full $5.00 as promised last year.  Linked is the House tracking sheet.

On the Senate Education and Youth Committee agenda scheduled Monday is HB 853 which addresses "Quality Basic Education Act." The bill would mandate that children placed in psychiatric residential treatment facilities by a physician's order may not be charged tuition. The committee will meet at 3:00 PM  in room 450 CAP.

Remaining 2018 legislative calendar:

Monday, March 19 - convene for legislative day 36
Tuesday, March 20 - committee work day
Wednesday, March 21 - convene for legislative day 37
Thursday, March 22 - committee work day
Friday, March 23 - convene for legislative day 38
Tuesday, March 27 - convene for legislative day 39
Thursday, March 29 - convene for legislative day 40

TG Legislative matrix 03.16.2018 

Family First Prevention Service Act  - HR 1892 - FFPSA provisions on pages 107-206

(Georgia has not yet determined how the FFPSA will be implemented in our state.) 


Member Update March 14, 2018 - Message from Christian City Children's Village COO
Daily Update March 12, 2018 - Grant Announcement: Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Homes


April 24 & 25 - Westin, Jekyll Island

This year’s Executive Retreat will be one of the most important in ten years!

Introduction of the Family First Preservation Services Act will impact the way in which we approach delivery of services to children and families. In addition, this year Georgia will elect a new governor with priorities and a vision for child welfare to which we will need to prepare. National and state thought leaders are invited to dialogue with Together Georgia members as we explore the potential impact of change in leadership, policies, and practice. We will also look at national initiatives around reframing of social services and business models. This retreat is our premier opportunity to network with Together Georgia members and collaboratives.  We invite you and your senior staff to come and share your ideas on how we can be better partner for the sake of Georgia’s children and families.

Invited Guests

  • National Presenter: Susan Dreyfus, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • State Leaders:
    Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner, Judy Fitzgerald
    Department of Community Health Commissioner, Frank Berry
    Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner, Avery Niles
    Division of Family and Children Services Director, Virginia Pryor
  • Care Management Organizations: Representatives from Amerigroup, CareSource, Peach State (Cenpatico), and WellCare representatives
  • Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Stan Jones and Helen Sloat (TG lobbyists)

Registration fee:  $100 attendee $175 exhibitor link to registration 

Hotel Room Reservation: $189 online reservation or by phone 1-888-627-8316 (Identify with event, Together Georgia Executive Retreat)
CUT-OFF date for making reservations in the block is March 27. Also, space is limited. Please make your reservations ASAP. .


Tuesday, April 24 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm                
Annual Membership Meeting (refreshments provided)
State of the Association
Provider Innovations (workgroup updates)
National Public Policy Update
Networking Reception

Wednesday April 25 8:30 am- noon
Legislative Update
State Updates
Closing Keynote  - Susan Dreyfus, The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities


April 24 TG Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting (in tandem with the Executive Retreat at Jekyll Island)

Member Calendar - https://togetherga.net/index.php/events/list-by-month/month.calendar/2018/03/01/-


Leadership Development for Mid- level Managers

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

Leadership Development for Midlevel Managers

►correction THURSDAY March 29, 2018, 10:00am - 2:00pm  
Program Description: In family and child-serving organizations, mid-level managers and supervisors are often faced with leadership challenges related to changing roles and responsibilities as they move away from direct service positions. Participants will explore and practice leadership skills designed to assist them through this transition.

Presenters: David Meyers, MSW & Brendan Leahy, Ed.D.
Location: Department of Labor Offices, 221 S. Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA  

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:

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
►new Call for Presentations


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