Weekly Update April 6, 2018

Looking Forward to the 2018 Executive Retreat 4/24 & 4/25


I love everything about Spring and always have. Yet, I think I love it even more this year which may be due to what has felt like a long winter for us in Georgia or that Spring also comes at the end of the Legislative session….come to think of it both are reasons to love Spring. Of course there are other reasons such as warmer days, the blooming azaleas and wearing flip flops. Yet, more importantly, I believe that Spring reminds us of hope.  As Bernard Williams said, “the day the lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.” Yes, I believe that to be true.

The children and families you serve may not have felt the same way about Spring.  For them each season may have been filled with uncertainty and sadness. Yet, this Spring will be different. Because of you, your staff, your foster parents and all those who touch those families, many of them enjoyed Easter Egg Hunts, will play sports, some for the first time, or may go on a picnic or a hike. For them, you have given them the hope that comes with Spring, the hope that comes with knowing you are loved and cared for, the hope that everyone deserves but many have not known. So as you enjoy the warmth of watching the sun shine on a child’s face, the warmth that comes from hearing a child squeal as she chases a butterfly or the warmth of watching a child grow into a young adult as he graduates from high school, know that you have given them hope…you have shown them Spring.  For that they are grateful and I am grateful for all of you and the amazing work you do each day, each season for our State’s most vulnerable children.

Now to the part where I talk about the end of the Legislative Session. While we did not get everything we wanted (or deserved), it was a good Session. The Session ended with a 2.5 percent increase for providers, more money for private foster parents, the important passage of CB 21 and so much more. Stan Jones and Helen Sloat will be presenting at the Executive Retreat and review all that happen during the Session in the area of Child Welfare. For those of you who cannot attend we will make sure you receive a copy of their report. There are many people to thank beginning with Stan and Helen for advocating for us each and every day of the session. Representative Welch was amazing as he advocated for and made sure a Bill passed that will improve the finger printing requirements. As most of you know Representative Welch’s father sadly passed away the last week of the Session. Yet, he returned to work the last day. Representative Katie Dempsey, Representative Bubber Epps, Senator Larry Walker, Senator Lindsey Tippens and of course Representative Bert Reeves who authored the Adoption Bill are all to be thanked along with many others.  Many of you worked both at the Capitol and behind the scenes on our Bills. Thank you!! It truly takes a village for change to happen, and I am glad to be part of your village.

Looking forward to seeing you at what I believe will be a very informative and enjoyable Executive Retreat on beautiful Jekyll Island later this month!!



Daily Update April 4, 2018 - LifeSet Network changes lives of former foster youth
Daily Update April 3, 2018 - Tippins resigns as Senate Education Committee chairman

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) The cut -off date for making reservations in the block was March 27.

OVERFLOW rooms available until sold out:
Jekyll Island Club Resort:  800-535-9547
Group Name:  Together Georgia, GASHC
Group Number:  10822487 

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

►reminder - Linked is a survey collector to capture your questions for the panelists and guest presenters. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QBCC7SM


April 12 10AM Family Foster Care Chapter meeting at Creative Community Services
April 19 10AM Family Preservation/Mental Health Provider Chapter TELECONFERENCE ONLY
April 24 TG Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting (in tandem with the Executive Retreat at Jekyll Island)
April 24 & 25 Executive Retreat

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


Leadership Development for Frontline Staff
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 Frontline Staff
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10:00am - 2:00pm  
Program Description: Often times, we may be tempted to overlook the leadership opportunities that exist for 'front line' staff.  However, front line staff can make or break the effectiveness, evaluation and overall health of an organization.  Designed for front line staff as participants, this session will focus on developing a leadership identity and examine how to lead from the front.    
Presenters: Brendan Leahy, Ed.D. & David Meyers, MSW  
CEs: applied for LMSW, LCSW, and LPC
Location: A Friend's House, 111 Henry Parkway, McDonough, GA 30253
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:

5/23 - Effective Supervision
8/21 - Working with LGBTQ youth
9/18 - Working in a Multigenerational Workplace
TBD -  Telemental Health
12/4 - Autism Spectrum


Georgia Conference on Children and Families 
October 17-19, 2018 - Marriott Augusta

►THANK YOU to Together Georgia members* who have signed on early in support of the 2018 GCCF!


Bethany Christian Services*

The Social Empowerment Center*

Community Connections, Inc.*

Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta

►show case your agency via 

►due April 30 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