New welfare system law to improve communication


    Communication among child welfare groups and foster parents will soon improve thanks a welfare system reform law. / Tosin Fakile


    Communication among child welfare groups and foster parents will soon improve thanks a welfare system reform law.

    Senate Bill 138 was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday. It gives the director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) a more direct line to the governor.

    Gregory Edwards, District Attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit said he was recently involved in a meeting last month with the director of the DFCS and they talked about some of the accomplishments of the bill.

    "They'd like to make sure that when we have children that are in abusive situations that the whole community is working together to make sure the child is put in the best position for that child," Edwards said. "And also too if there a need for prosecution we're in the best position to prosecute cases and also just the best position for all persons involved in the process to have information about what's going on," he added.

    The new law will create district and state level advisory boards that will help with making rules and delivery of services in DFCS. It also gives foster parents and other care provider's access to appropriate medical and educational records.

    "What it means for us here is we hope is that there will be some advisory boards that will come together that will hear issues that are developing out in the field," Edwards said. "This type of initiative means that we will hopefully get some processes in place that will facilitate better child welfare," he added.

    The bill also re-established the Child Abuse Registry which will handle cases with enough evidence proving an abuse happened while meeting the constitutional requirements of due process.

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