Policies in Georgia

Foster parent recruitment to support birth and foster parent relationships

Georgia is implementing Partnership Parenting, a trauma-informed parenting model designed to allow parents to continue parenting while their children are in care. Recruitment of a pool of “Partnership Parents” who can mentor birth parents includes grassroots outreach, relationship building, and community education. “Resource Parents” also mentor birth parents but are ready to adopt a child if reunification efforts fail.

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Safety Resource Policy

Georgia utilizes different strategies to promote family-based care, including a Safety Resource policy that allows parents to voluntarily place a child with a relative for 45 days as parents work to resolve any safety concerns. These planned placements can also extend across state lines. 

To learn more, see the brief, "How can we ensure a child’s first placement is with family?"

Data-driven foster parent recruitment

The Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) collects and analyzes data on children in care and foster/adoptive resources from a number of different sources, including GA SHINES, GA+SCORE, the Fostering GA inquiry line database and foster parent exit surveys. Georgia’s Caregiver Recruitment and Retention Unit develops data profiles that DFCS regions use to develop annual reports on placement resources, retention data and projected needs. Regions submit quarterly reports on recruitment and retention progress, which the state agency uses to annually update its recruitment and retention plan. The state’s goal is to use data more effectively in recruitment and retention and to provide technical assistance to counties. 

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Georgia's customer service model: Faster, Friendlier, Easier

One of Georgia's goals is to provide quality customer service to foster parents. Georgia is focused on improving IMPACT, which stands for Initial Interest, Mutual Selection, Pre-Service Training, Assessment, Continuing Development, Trauma-Informed Teamwork. Georgia’s customer service motto is Faster, Friendlier and Easier. The goal is be accessible to current and prospective caregivers, be responsive to inquirers, move prospective caregivers through the approval process as expediently as possible, and remove bureaucratic and other barriers to approval and retention to the extent possible. The goal is to provide more flexibility to prospective foster parents. Georgia’s diligent recruitment plan describes a Placement Resource Operations Unit (PRO Unit) which specializes in supporting placements of high-need children and youth through enhanced matching, provision of needed services and intensive practice guidance and consultation to field staff, inpatient facilities and contracted providers.

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Foster Parent and Youth Ambassadors

Some state plans describe involving foster parents and youth as foster care “ambassadors” as a recruitment strategy, including Georgia (community ambassadors), Iowa (foster and adoptive parent ambassadors), Massachusetts (foster and adoptive parent ambassadors who are paid $500 per month for 30 hours of general recruitment activity) and New Jersey (youth ambassadors who share their experiences with foster care to dispel myths about fostering teens).

See state diligent recruitment plans for more information.

Trauma-informed foster parent training

The National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents program is a a five-year federal grant project focused on developing a state-of-the-art training program to prepare foster and adoptive parents to care for children exposed to trauma. Intended outcomes include improved placement stability, improved permanency rates and enhanced child and family well-being. Seven states a tribal community have been selected to partner as pilot sites, including: Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Kansas and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. 

See the project's website for more details.