Weekly Update March 3, 2017


Today is cross-over day for all bills.  Any bill originated in one body (Senate or House) that has not been voted on and moved to the other legislative house will no longer be considered this year.  The FY 18 budget continues to get attention and we should expect to know whether our enhancement requests made it into the Senate’s recommendations in the coming days.  The updated matrix lists over 100 bills that have some bearing on children, youth and/or families.  Let us know if you need additional information on any bill. 

SB 170 as described below would legislate a change in current Prudent Parenting definition, create a three tier volunteer certification system with a new (yet to be funded data base) and form an advisory committee.  DFCS is opposed to this bill as written.  I have heard from numerous members that they too are concerned about the bill and want to know how best to advocate change or opposition.  It was to be on the Senate floor today for a vote.


SB 170 - 'Georgia SERVES Act of 2017'; child care services for foster children and their families; provide for certification of volunteers


A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 5 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to programs and protection for children and youth, so as to provide for the certification of volunteers to provide child care services for foster children and their families; to provide for limited immunity; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for the establishment by the Department of Human Services of a uniform certification system including varying levels of certification; to provide for statutory construction; to establish the Georgia SERVES Act Advisory Committee and provide for its membership and duties; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

SB 170 link - http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/SB/170

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 last week.  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.  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
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 20170303


Daily Update March 3, 2017 -  Nonprofit Leadership Learning Community
Daily Update March 2, 2017 - Action Alert - Friday is Cross Over Day
Daily Update March 1, 2017- New Addition for BH Outpatient Services
Daily Update February 28, 2017 -  Black History recognized in February and Beyond
Member Update February 27, 2017 - Unmasking Children's Mental Illness Mardi Gras Benefit Ball 2/28/17
Daily Update February 27, 2017  - Kids3 Event


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


►NEXT WEEK 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 OPEN►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/- 


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


►due NEXT WEEK 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. )

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