Weekly Update February 24, 2017


Several child/youth/family related bills were added to the legislative matrix this week.  There are now over 100 bills posted on it.  I try and post all bills that have any content regarding those we serve knowing that most will not impact your specific service line.  Please let me know if you require additional information on any of these bills or others. 

This week SB 170 http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/SB/170  took the spotlight.  It was created by the organization Promise 686 with assistance from their consultant, Dianne Kelly.  It would basically create a three tier volunteer certification system overseen by an oversight commission.  There were many questions asked at the hearing on this bill this week and DFCS’s Director Cagle spoke out strongly against the bill.  Other bills of interest include: SB 168 http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/SB/168

which would expand access to the Child Abuse Registry, HB 250 http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HB/250

deals with criminal records check issues for certain baby-sitting issues for foster parents and not yet dropped yet the revision of last year’s SB 4 which would allow parents the ability for one year to sign over care of a child to fictive kin.  

Senate Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee

As most of you know we have been working diligently to get two enhancements to the Governors FY 18 budget (see attached).  We have made good progress on the issue of having both the DFCS and the private foster parents paid the same (parity).  For CPAs this will be a pass through of funds directly to the foster parents and thus not a ‘rate increase’. 

Our second item is to have the budget include DFCS’s recommendation in their June independent analysis (see attached) for on average a 6.46% rate increase to applicable CCI and CCP service providers.  This 6.46% rate increase should be the first installment over three consecutive years.  The House took action on our first item and recommended that there be a $5 increase for CPA foster parents the next two years.  However they made no recommendations for rate increases. 

Due to many of your efforts several Senators inquired about the rate increase needs at their hearing yesterday.  They did not take public comments and we are hearing that there may not be an opportunity for public comments at any future hearing.  That is why it is critical you call and talk to your Senator today.  Yesterday Karl and I went to four offices and spoke to Senators on Appropriations.  Most were unaware or confused as to why we are asking for this rate increase.  We seemed to get favorable responses once we explain that:

  • There as been only 4.5% total increases over the past 12 years,
  • DFCS’s 19% salary increases will have a direct impact on our abilities to hire and retain staff without an increase,
  • Private providers serve about half of DFCS children and often the most challenging children and youth,
  • We have been and will continue to be good partners with DFCS and DJJ however providers must receive increases (just like they have) in order to best serve Georgia’s children,
  • And that DFCS’s own independent analysis says we are on average paid 18% below our cost to care for their children,

Here is a list of the Senators on both the Appropriations Committee and the Human Development Sub-Committee which Sen. Unterman is the Chair.  If you provide any services in any of the districts of the Senators in the Human Development Subcommittee please have as many appropriate folks (staff, board members…) call them today.  If you provide services in any of the larger Senate Appropriations Committee districts call now too.  We especially need folks to call upon Senators Jack Hill (Reidsville,  Phone: (404) 656-5038, (912) 557-3811, jack.hill@senate.ga.gov) and Renee Unterman (Buford, Phone: (404) 463-1368, Renee.Unterman@senate.ga.gov). All links below will take you to the contact information for Senators.     

Senate Appropriations Committee Members:

Hill, Jack Chairman
Unterman, Renee S Vice Chairman
Gooch, Steve Secretary
Hufstetler, Chuck Ex-Officio
Albers, John Member
Black, Ellis Member
Burke, Dean Member
Cowsert, Bill Member
Davenport, Gail Member
Fort, Vincent Member
Ginn, Frank Member
Harper, Tyler Member
Hill, Hunter Member
Hill, Judson Member - (Until 02/13/2017)
Jeffares, Rick Member
Kennedy, John F. Member
Ligon, Jr., William T. Member
Miller, Butch Member
Mullis, Jeff Member
Orrock, Nan Member
Seay, Valencia Member
Shafer, David Member
Sims, Freddie Powell Member
Stone, Jesse Member
Tate, Horacena Member
Thompson, Curt Member
Tippins, Lindsey Member
Watson, Ben Member
Wilkinson, John Member
Williams, Michae lMember

Human Dev. & Public Health:

Burke, Dean
Hufstetler, Chuck
Miller, Butch
Tate, Horacena
Unterman, Renee S

Our lobbyist, Stan and Helen are talking to OPB and legislators daily on these issues but they need them to hear from you.  We have heard that if five (5) seems to be the number of constituents that cause a legislator to pay attention to an issue.  So we need at least five folks to call each of the Senators above. 

legislative matrix 20170224


Provider Watch February 23, 2017 - Easter Seals Southern Georgia, Inc. 60th Anniversary
Daily Update February 22, 2017 - Reinstatement of Parental Rights
Daily Update February 21, 2017 - Free Certification Training Program Introductory Session


Child Welfare Training Collaborative's Brain Development 101

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

Child Welfare Training Collaborative's Brain Development 101 Thursday, March 23, 2017, 10:00am - 2:00pm 
Program Description:  This course will provide participants with foundational knowledge about how adversity and trauma can impact brain development. Participants will also be introduced to brain architecture and early brain development in children. 
Presenter: Debra Ross, Child Welfare Training Collaborative (CWTC)David Meyer, J.W. Fanning Institute;                                   Host/Facilitator: David Meyer, J.W. Fanning Institute
Course Description: This course will provide participants with foundational knowledge about how adversity and trauma can impact brain development. Participants will also be introduced to brain architecture and early brain development in children.
Course Objectives: The brain development class goes into more of the brain science and the impact of trauma on the brain.
Location A Friend’s House, 111 Henry Pkwy, McDonough, GA 30253
Cost for training and lunch:  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


March 9 - Family Foster Care Chapter 10:00am at 4487 Park Drive, Ste A, Norcross, GA  30093
March 16 - Family Preservation/Mental Health Provider Chapter 10:00am at 270 Carpenter Dr. Ste 400, Sandy Springs, GA  30328
REGISTRATION OPEN April 25 & 26 -  Annual Executive Retreat, WinShape
SPONSOR REGISTRATION NOW OPENOctober 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/- 


The next Practice Matters meeting is scheduled April 13 at Hephzibah in Macon--additional details will be forthcoming. 


►due March 8
To: Together Georgia member CPAs

Please note below an opportunity to recognize one of your foster parents via the Foster Caregivers of the Year Award.

Together Georgia will select one winner from our member agencies to forward to Shaun Johnson. DFCS is expecting a winner from members from each organization (Together Georgia, FFTA, MAAC, and GATS) which allows them to recognize four CPAs foster caregivers.

Together Georgia created a link in Survey Monkey to collect nominations.  Please respond no later than March 8. Thank you. 


The luncheon is scheduled May 23.  Also note, if your nominee is selected, we will need a high-resolution quality photograph to forward to DFCS. 

► hosts are needed for Regions 1, 7, and 11
To: Together Georgia member agency directors
Together Georgia is invited to continue to participate in the DFCS Road Shows. Previous TG members who have hosted the Road Show provider meetings include WinShape, Twin Cedars, Necco, Bethany, CarePartnersHephzibah, and Georgia Baptist.
Please note, the following dates/locations for the 2017 meetings and let us know of your availability to host.   
  • April 25-28 – Statesboro/Region 12 (Broken Shackle)
  • May 22-26 – Columbus/Region 8 (Bethany Christian Services)
  • June 12-16 –​Blue Ridge/Region 1
  • August 21-25 – Atlanta/ Region 14 (Hillside)
  • September 25-29 –​ ​Douglasville/Region 3 (Youth Villages)
  • October 16-20 –​Valdosta/Region 11
  • November 13-17 –Augusta/ Region 7
​The provider meeting is typically the second day beginning at approx. 1:30PM. (Unfortunately, you will see that April is double booked--the Together Georgia Annual Executive Retreat is also scheduled April 25 & 26.)​

Please let us know of your interest ASAP. Thank you. 


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


42700-DHS0000254 Early Intervention Support Services HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF Mar 15, 2017 Open
42700-DHS0000255 Homestead Support Services HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF Mar 15, 2017 Open



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. )

An email newsletter as a public service Editor