Weekly Update January 27, 2017


Private Child Services Providers Budget Requests and Facts

On any given day the Georgia Private Providers care for roughly 40% of children in DFCS custody.  This long-standing public-private partnership has always strived to work together in the best interest of the children, youth and families.  Many of the budgetary issues addressed over the past three years have solely focused upon the great needs at DFCS while ignoring the fiscal needs of the private providers.  In order to maintain sustainability and improve outcomes there must now be attention given to both.


  • The provider community wholeheartedly support the 19% salary increases for DFCS staff.  As a former state director of DFCS during the great recession I know how dedicated and deserving these staff are.  Comparatively private providers in general have comparable positions of starting salaries for BWS staff ranging from $28k-$32k which means that the new starting salary for DFCS workers will be somewhat higher at $35k.  We believe all that work in the critical roles of caring for Georgia’s children should be paid a professionally competitive wage.  This further our continued request for rate increases for the private providers.  Over the past 12 years there has been a total of only a 4.5% rate increase.  A report compiled by DFCS Finance Director, Cliff O’Connor shows that on average the private providers are paid 18% less than their cost of care.  DFCS’s own recommendation in this report was that the providers should be given a 6.46% rate increase for each of the next 3 years beginning FY 18.  This increase was not included in the Governor’s budget. (Dollar request on behalf of providers is being determined.)
  • Providers also strongly support the 57% foster care rate paid to DFCS foster homes. However this same increase needs to be funded for private foster homes.  Currently this increase will only go to DFCS homes which make up about 55% of the total foster homes.  Providers are hoping this is an oversight and can be amended.  If not, many partnering private foster care agencies will not be able to recruit homes as such a disadvantage.  At a time when the state desperately needs more foster homes we can not afford to create situation like this. (Dollar request on behalf of providers is being determined.)

Families First Act Re-Introduced in House

Last week Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI) reintroduced the Families First Act, HR 253. The legislation is identical to the legislation that passed the House of Representatives last summer. As a result, it does not include any of the changes that were agreed to after last year’s November election. It is viewed as a placeholder for potential future discussions but with budget and reconciliations decisions up in the air it is unclear if it is any more than a placeholder. In fact, the bill sponsor Congressman Buchanan is no longer chairing the key Human Resources Committee of the Ways and Means Committee.

TG legislative matrix 01.27.17

Executive Update January 25, 2017 -  TG Annual Executive Retreat
Daily Update January 26, 2017 - This Child is Talking to YOU
Daily Update January 25, 2017 - 2017 State YMCA Advocacy Day 2/2/17
Member Update January 23, 2017 - Vashti introduces new executive director, Elijah Miranda


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
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 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: The Vashti Center, 1815 E. Clay Street Thomasville, GA 31792
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


Child Welfare Training Collaborative
Trauma 101: Understanding Child Trauma and Child Traumatic Stress - multiple dates - click here to view calendar


February 8 - Faith-based Affinity Group meeting locations TBD
February  9 - Canceled Family Foster Care Chapter meeting
February 9 & 10 -   GALAA Conference (Georgia Association of Licensed Adoption Agencies) link to brochure
February 16 - Family Preservation/Mental Health Provider Chapter at 10:00AM at Family Ties
REGISTRATION OPEN April 25 & 26 -  Annual Executive Retreat, WinShape
October 25-27 - Georgia Conference on Children and Families, Augusta - website: www.georgiachild.org

Member Calendar - http://togetherga.net/index.php/events/list-by-month/month.calendar/2016/06/27/- 


YouthToday Grants - click here to see available grants on website 
Grant Station Insider  - Volume XV | Issue 24 | June 16, 2016


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 user name and password that was previously provided to member agency directors. (User name 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. )

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