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Region          Strengths and barriers or gaps in the provision of services in the region.

Region 1
Region 2
                Banks and Stephens:
                Funds must be closely monitored and are sometimes inadequate. Spanish-speaking providers are

                Dawson and Hall:
                The region has been very fortunate finally to have the regional Independent Living Coordinator
                position filled. This has been very beneficial to the court judges’ perceptions of how the division may
                meet the needs of our older children in care. This is something that the two juvenile court judges have
                been very concerned about for a long time. However, our judges have had to realize that the ILP
                coordinator serves not only Dawson and Hall County, but also 11 other counties in the region.

                To be a large and diverse county, we have very few stand-alone resources. Most of the services we
                have are contracted through the department. We need a solid CORE provider in this county.

                Franklin and Hart:
                        Lack of services
                        Lack of adequate providers
                        Lack of funds

                Habersham and Rabun:
                Region wide there are gaps in the Mental Health side of things as well as placement resources for
                children with MH and / or Behavioral disorders. Rabun County does not have a MH center thus
                relying on Contractor services.

                Lumpkin and White:
                Challenges engaging FP’s in ILP importance / value
                Challenges engaging youth in ILP importance / value

                Towns and Union:
                Strengths in each county include baseline staffings, supervisory involvement, and child involvement
                with the case management staff. A gap for each county would include a lack of available resources in
                some areas when needed due to the size of each county.

Region 3        Counties have identified the following strengths in the provision of services:

                Active LIPT
                Northwest GA System of Care, KidsNet Services
                Juvenile Court is active in some counties with development of services
                Several service options in some counties allow choices
                Some counties have good range of services
                Community partners
                Recent increase in mental health services in some counties

                Counties have identified the following barriers to the provision of services:

                 Lack of or quality of Meth treatment
                 Lack of residential substance about treatment especially for men
                 Residential substance abuse treatment where children can be housed with their parent(s).
                 Lack homeless shelters in some counties especially lack of shelters that will take children too.
                 Turnover in staff and furloughs
                 Poor services from private providers
                 ILP coordinator position was vacant for much of this review period
                 Lack of Transportation – within and across county lines to seek services
                 Inability to find and/or lack of cooperation by some parents
           Ineffective LIPT meetings in some counties resulting in teens with delinquent and MH issues coming into care due to lack
           of adequate community services.
Region 4

Region 5   Q31. Identify strengths and barriers or gaps in the provision of services in the region.

           Barrow County
               A lot of available services in the community (see above).
               Numerous community task forces to assess and address the needs of the community.
               Many services are provided in the home.

               No public transportation in the community to assist with getting customers to service providers.
               Lack of services for non-English speaking customers.
               Lack of resources for specialized parenting courses for parents with children who have special
               ILP events are usually not in Barrow County.
               Some youth do not want to participate.
               Foster parent schedules sometimes conflict with events.
               Only 1 ILP Coordinator for 12 counties, and the position is housed in a county that maintains a
                high level of activity itself.
               Mental health service availability continues to be a barrier. The local Advantage Behavioral
                Center continues to struggle with regular staff turnover which creates a problem with continuity of
                services. It takes an extended period of time to get an appointment for mental health services
                often leaving people without proper mental health attention for extended periods.

           Clarke County
               Wide array of services available in county.
               Strong relationships with local law enforcement, Family Protection Center, School District, and
                the Cottage that facilitates more cooperation between agencies providing services to families.
               Local public transportation.
               Local food bank.
               Local homeless shelters.
               Stable staff that are familiar with youth and have fostered relationships with service providers.

               Youth resistance to participating in the program.
               Youth in institutional placements.
               Youth placed in other counties that are not served by our regional ILP Coordinator.
               Decrease in funding for parent aides, homestead services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment
                programs (causes decrease in availability of beds).
               Many providers (psychologists) don’t accept youth’s health insurance (Medicaid); this also affects
                youth as they become adults as many providers don’t accept adult Medicaid either and most adults
                don’t have the funds to pay for the services they need.
               Obtaining timely documentation from providers.

           Elbert County
               Transportation for clients.
               Lack of sufficient funds for needed contracted services.
               Lack of consistent mental health providers.

           Greene/Oconee Counties
              Both counties have a contract to provide needed tutoring services.

               Have a good working relationship with vendors.
               Potential issues are identified and resolved quickly. Staffings with providers are held on a regular
                basis to ensure services are direct, relevant and occurring timely.

               This is an area of growth for both counties. Although there are more educational opportunities in

     Oconee County, there is a need to provide more child-specific services to older children in foster
    Need for specific drug treatments geared towards prescription drug abuse. This is an emerging
     trend in Oconee County.

Jackson County
    Lack of services in the county. Many of the services the agency provides are contracted and
     workers lack the knowledge to question the service if it doesn’t meet the needs of the family.
    Families are not utilizing the services that are offered by providers.

Jasper/Morgan Counties
    Transportation for clients.
    Lack of sufficient funds for needed contracted services.
    Lack of consistent mental health providers.

Madison/Oglethorpe Counties
  Other than AA/NA, neither Madison nor Oglethorpe has any substance abuse services of any kind
   for adults in the community, without private insurance.
  There is a private mental health provider in Madison who does not accept Medicaid.
  Advantage Behavioral Health Systems has been the only core Medicaid provider of mental health
   services in Madison & Oglethorpe. Due to budgetary cutbacks, there has been even less
   availability of counselors for children at the schools in both counties.
  Mental Health services for adults, particularly substance abuse, are virtually non-existent in
   Madison/Oglethorpe Counties.
  There are services available in Clarke County, but then transportation is a problem. So is paying
   for services. Even if person can get to treatment and pay for it, the space is limited because every
   other outlying agency in the county is vying for the same number of spaces.
  The ABHS/mental health system is difficult to navigate. Any specialized mental health treatment
   for foster children (sexual abuse, etc.) can be had in Athens, but it eats up the travel budget and
   time for case managers to transport back and forth.
  Foster parents are willing to do some transportation, but taking a sibling group of four to Athens
   every week for individual appointments turns into a major undertaking.
  Utilizing a parent aide for transportation takes funds away from a family who would benefit from
   parent aide services.
  There are two new Homestead providers for Madison & Oglethorpe that are core providers for
   Medicaid. These companies have been utilized not only for Homestead, Parent Aide and Wrap
   Around needs, but also for a referral service in Family Support Cases.

Newton County
    Newton County no longer has a child and adolescent unit at the local mental health.
    Lack of adequate funding for services that are needed.
    Delay in service delivery with some agencies. This has been addressed with those agencies as well
     as staff to ensure follow-up.

Walton County
    More and more services are being offered through current providers who are pointing out an array
     of services they can offer and they can bill Medicaid versus billing the agency.
    There are also other providers who provide high quality of services and the county always tries to
     use these providers.

    The local Advantage mental health is understaffed and cannot possibly provide all services needed
     in the community.
    There is a psychiatrist available only a few times a month in this county. Medication management
     and emergencies are really a problem when a psychiatrist is not in the county often.
    Another barrier is no public transportation.

Region 6   Region VI has an array of services that stem from the larger counties in the area. Bibb and Houston
           counties serve as feeders to the smaller counties with fewer resources. However, the mental health
           facilities cut backs are taking a toll on the families that DFCS serves.

           Families in smaller counties have limited access to services because the agencies do not always have
           satellite offices in those counties. Also the families do not always have transportation to access the
           services in the larger counties.

           Medicaid families tend to receive more services but with a limited timeframe. Most counties
           continually use private providers for services to families in the regions. Houston County developed
           their own resources and offer parenting classes and anger management to their families.

           Specify the following services utilized in the region:

                        Services to protect children in the home and prevent removal:
                  Mental health, substance abuse treatment, private counselors
                  provide services for DFCS counties.

                          Baldwin County has the Take Charge which is a CPS preventive program for young
                          mothers in the community.

                          WIC offices are located in most of the counties. Tender Health Day Care services are
                          available for special needs children. Some counties have churches that offer GED
                          classes and services to clients. Some offices offer domestic violence services through
                          the court systems.

                          During the review period, Peach County DFCS still operated the CPPC programs which
                          provided services to assist with needs for the families.

                          Bibb and Houston have advocacy centers that offer interviewing, medical services and
                          counseling for families of sexually abused children. Bibb County has a program called
                          Just Children, a collaborative that provides parenting classes for teens and their parents
                          with delinquency issues.

                          Bibb County also has additional programs that are also available to counties in
                          bordering regions. These often include Twiggs, Crawford, Wilkinson, Jones and
                          Monroe Counties.
                           Project Connect
                           Family Counseling Center
                           Macon Housing Authority
                           Salvation Army
                           Rescue Mission
                           Red Cross
                           Economic Opportunity Council

                          Some county agencies have specialized services to aid in child abuse prevention based
                          on partnership between DFCS and the school system. Twiggs and Pulaski Counties have
                          collaboratives with their school systems where they provide a school social worker who
                          works part time in the school. Counties also have collaborative efforts with drug courts
                          that allow for multiple service provision for families with substance abuse issues.

                         Services to promote reunification of children in foster care:

                          Bibb County in partnership with The Methodist Home and the EOC has implemented a
                          visitation Program for children in foster care. This program is designed to increase
                          visitation between children and parents with a focus on parenting skills and assessments.
                          The visits will be observed by providers who are specifically trained in education.
                          Providers will also provide specialized training for the birth parents. Other counties
                          within the region do not have specialized programs but do use River Edge Mental
                          Health, Oconee Mental Health and Phoenix Center Mental Health along with various

               wrap around providers. These providers assist clients with services geared towards
               completing their case plans therefore promoting timely reunification with their children
               placed into foster care. Counties in Region VI continue to rely heavily on wrap around
               services to provide counseling, substance abuse assessment, substance abuse screenings,
               parent aide, behavior aides and parenting classes to clients with children in foster care.

              Services to promote timely adoptions:

               Funding sources are being utilized to ensure that child life histories and foster home
               conversions are completed timely in order to keep adoptions timely. Currently the
               counties in the region are using Morning Star to complete child life histories in
               preparation for adoption. For those cases where additional services are needed, wrap
               around services are used to facilitate timely adoptions and/or to prevent adoption

               These resources are assisting counties with achieving timely adoptions; however, losing
               funding can be a barrier for counties therefore inhibiting their use of wrap around
               services for their adoption cases.

              Services to support adoptive families and prevent disruption after placement and

               Services through wrap around are also being provided to families to stabilize or
               maintain stability in those cases where therapeutic intervention is needed.
               These resources are assisting with preparing children and families for finalizations and
               preventing disruptions, however, limited funding can be a barrier for counties where
               wrap around services are critical to maintaining the case.

               Georgia Parent Resources Support is a tremendous resource for adoptive families in
               stabilizing any crises, providing ongoing support and moving the families towards

Describe the services the Region provides to youth in foster care to prepare them for independent
living and to make the transition from foster care to adulthood?

The region has identified that services for ILP youth are vital to their success in and out of foster care.
Throughout the review period the ILP program provided monthly workshops to include:
      Financial Budgeting
      Job Interviewing Prep
      College Prep

Recently two programs were implemented in the region to target topics that affect youth today. This
group meets at the regional office and is facilitated by the Region’s ILC. The Boys to Men group is
designed to promote self awareness, independence, and the ability to make positive choices. Girls
Leading the Way is a group for young ladies in foster care. This group is designed to build self esteem,
promote self awareness, making positive choices and the prevention of domestic violence.
 The region has limited transportation for foster care youth and they are often not able to attend
Independent Living Program activities. This barrier has caused a change in the workshops that are
being provided. The Independent Living Coordinator has conducted workshops during school breaks in
hopes to increase the availability of ILP services to the region's youth. Also workshops have been
conducted on weekends. The ILP program continues to provide funding that is used towards
educational services such as tutoring, graduating senior expenses and secondary education expenses for
foster care youth.

Some counties in the region continue to offer specialized educational services to the youth such as
tutorial programs designed to help to their youth gain the necessary training that they need. Counties in
the region support the Teen Work program every summer. Although many youth do not participate,
each County Director pledges to provide a certain number of placements in their agency in order to
ensure that the youth have the opportunity to participate in the program.

Certain policies inhibit foster care youth from gaining all benefits from certain learning experiences.
For example, the strict but necessary policy regarding the consent to drive is a barrier to youth

           receiving all of the services that they may need.

           Identify strengths and barriers or gaps in the provision of services in the region.

           Funding is limited and can be a barrier for counties in the use of wrap around services for placement
           cases. The counties do not necessarily have additional financial resources to provide adequate services
           to our families.

           Some counties face the barrier of providers not initiating services timely for the family. Often counties
           and providers are not communicating enough to ensure that services are provided timely.

           Some special wrap around services are not providing the quality services to families as needed. This is
           being addressed by individual counties with those providers. Counties are either discontinuing services
           of the providers or requesting that providers improve services before additional referrals are made. This
           process will continually be monitored by county.

Region 7   Region 7 had these identified services in the Region:

           •    Homestead Contractors
           •    Parent Aide Contractors
           •    Wrap Around Providers
           •    Substance Abuse Classes and Screens
           •    Substance Abuse Treatment Providers
           •    Anger Management Providers
           •    Individual and Family Therapy
           •    Crisis Intervention Services
           •    Intensive Family Therapy
           •    Brief and Early Intervention Services
           •    CCFA Providers
           •    Food Banks
           •    Project Share
           •    Salvation Army Shelter
           •    Red Cross
           •    Domestic Violence Center (including counseling )
           •    Visitation Centers (Richmond County)
           •    McDuffie County Partners For Success
           •    Tri County Plus Rural Network* (Hancock, Warren, Glascock, Taliaferro Counties)
           •    Coastal Regional Health Collabrative* (Screven County)
           •    The Medical Mission Clinic* (McDuffie)
               •           Jenkins County Family Enrichment Commission*
                       Fatherhood Advantage Program - Jenkins County

           •    Quality of Life Association For Warren County*

           *McDuffie County Partners for Success
           McDuffie County Partners for Success, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) collaborative of Communities in
           Schools, Family Connection, Prevent Child Abuse McDuffie County, Adult Literacy Council , and
           McDuffie County Health Coalition. The mission of this community collaborative is to strengthen the
           family unit and provide support for healthy, stable families in McDuffie County.

           *Tri County Plus Rural Network
           Served Hancock, Warren, Glascock and Taliaferro medical well being needs
           and provided health, dental care services to the community regardless of income.

           *Coastal Regional Health Collabrative
           Clinic focused on the improvement of health care needs by providing medical services to the
           uninsured, indigent patients.

           *The Medical Mission Clinic
           Clinic provided medical services for the uninsured in McDuffie County twice a month.

                *Jenkins County Family Enrichment Commission
               The mission of the Family Enrichment Commission is to operate as a countywide
               organization provided services needed to improve the well being and quality of life
               for children, youth, and families in Jenkins County. Some of the programs offered:
               Parent Education Workshops, First Steps Child Safety Campaign, First Access Intake
               And Referral Services, Family Team Meetings, Prevent Child Abuse Campaign, Needs
               To Talk Program, Neighborhood Resource Center, Food Pantry.

               *Quality of Life Association for Warren County
               Association provided a Family Empowerment Curriculum, life skills, health and wellness,
               Targeted population 10-18 on health issues. Managed Youth Connection Program that
               Provided mentoring, case management, summer employment, counseling. Summer
               Camp for children ages 5-17. Camp focused on academic improvement in reading and
               Math, introduction to Fine Arts, prevention of drug use and teen pregnancy.

               Early Intervention Services were initiated during the Intake process if the agency felt an assessment by
               the agency was not warranted. When assessments were completed and ongoing services were
               warranted, the Region’s counties utilized PUP, Parent Aide and Homestead contract providers for
               ongoing case management.

               If assessments identified cases for ongoing status, a referral was made to Family Preservationist staff to
               begin the FTM Process for each family. This ensured that needs and service array was immediately
               addressed to initiate expedited service.
               Services were addressed for the foster care population through CCFA’s that were completed. Each
               child that entered care in Region 7 had a comprehensive assessment completed. Medical and
               educational needs were assessed during the initial entry into foster care. Identified needs were
               addressed and services were put in place for the child and the family involved. Based on CFSR,
               Director, supervisor and FPS reviews, the Region had been effective in this area but not always timely.

               The Region provided many services to promote the reunification process such as visitation centers,
               community providers and contracted providers.
               An identified barrier was the lack of available State Funding for existing programs. Another identified
               gap was counties do not always carefully monitor the funding source for the budgets of these
               contracted services. Based on the Shines implementation in February 2008, this identified barrier was
               eliminated as the system forces the counties to monitor budget limits.

               Region 7 provided an adequate array of services that promoted timely adoptions. The Region utilized
               meetings with the RAC, agency networking in MATCHING meetings, My Turn Now, Video
               conferencing, The Resource Center, Wednesday’s Child. The Region had monthly permanency
               staffings conducted to encourage resolutions in permanency. The permanency staffings began in March
               2008. Cases would be staffed as a region to identify barriers and provide permanency suggestions.

               An identified strength was the inclusion of the RAC in the adoption staffing. Often child studies had
               been contracted (Ashlin / Morningstar) out prior to termination of parental rights. The ability to
               contract for these services was driven by the availability of funding from State Office.

               A barrier the Region recognized were the delays caused by the legal process. A few of the SAAG’s
               had not completed the timely filing or completed the wrong paperwork for terminations. Another issue
               was experienced where the adoptive parent’s attorney also would not have the required paperwork and
               finger print requirements completed for the adoption to proceed. We have currently 5 children that are
               under appeal. We have a larger circuit that does not want to do concurrent planning which has a
               negative effect on our time frames.

Region 8   Region 8 as noted is a very large region and services available are based on county size. Each county
           knows the resources that are available in their counties but many of the resources require case mangers to
           transport families or children to neighboring counties. With budget constraints for families and the agency,
           distance and travel cost have become barriers for contract services and providers as well.

           Case manager staff and supervisor turnover is also a barrier in the provision of services to families and
           children. With the case manager being the primary resource for families, we find that with staff turnover we
           also have some lapse in services. Change in supervision is also a barrier when the monitoring of case
           manager services is impeded with staffing changes.

Region 9    Wraparound and homestead providers provide parenting, employment assistance, transportation, and
            therapeutic services (domestic violence counseling/assessment, family/individual therapy, anger
            management, outpatient substance abuse counseling/assessments, and marriage counseling). These services
            are provided in the client's home if needed. Utility assistance is provided through Project Share and
            Neighborhood Service Centers in some counties. Mental Health services are provided through BHL crisis
            lines and local MH facilities in some counties. Technical Colleges provide secondary education services.
            Food pantries are also available in some counties. CPPC and conserted services are in counties in the region
            as well as Alcohol and Drug facilities (in-patient). There are some homeless shelters in our region as well.
            Refuge services and domestic violence shelters are also a resource for some counties.

            Wraparound services and homestead services are utilized in each county to prevent removals and protect
            children in their own homes. Sometimes we utilize CPA resources as well for adoptive homes or others.

            All available resources are utilized to promote reunification of children in foster care to include FTMs and
            finding appropriate placements who will cooperate with reunification plans.

            Service provision have some what increased in our region over the past 12 months. Although the region's
            location and rurality pose certain challenges in finding transportation and utilization of services, we've
            found that utilizing the entire region versus services offered in one county has benefited us. Wraparound
            and Homestead providers have met with counties to discuss our needs and we've improved our community
            involvement which provides another outlet for services.

Region 10
            Domestic Violence
                    Liberty House serves most counties in the region and provides domestic violence services to
                     include: a 24 hour crisis line, on call response advocacy, emergency shelters, domestic violence
                     assessments, support groups and legal advocacy. Liberty House houses a victim advocate on the
                     first floor at Dougherty DFCS. Additionally, Liberty House receives PSSF funds to provide
                     family preservation services to victims of domestic violence.
                    Each District Attorney’s Office has a Victim Witness Assistance Program that offers crime
                     victims and witnesses emotional support during the aftermath of crime and guidance through the
                     maze of the criminal justice system.
                    The Haven is located in Region XI and provides domestic violence services to counties that
                     border Region XI.
                    Worth County is utilizing Ruth’s Cottage that is located in Region XI they have a shelter to house
                     women and children and offer various services to victims of domestic violence.
                    Halycon Home serves most counties in the region and provides domestic violence services to
                     include: 24 hour crisis line, on call response advocacy and an emergency shelter.
            Substance Abuse
                    The Anchorage, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, Christ-based organization dedicated to the
                     rehabilitation of men whose lives have been ravaged by alcohol/drug addiction and is located in
                    The Behavioral Health Center at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany provides a
                     comprehensive array of services to help adults and children suffering from chemical dependency.
                    GraceWay is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit, faith- based, long-term substance abuse treatment
                     community for women located in Albany.
                    Albany Area Community Service Board provides addictive disease services to include :
                     Medication administration, Medical & nursing assessment, Group & individual counseling,
                     Residential detoxification, Dual Diagnosis Residential, Outpatient services, Community support
                     team (CST) , Psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) , Community support individual (CSI) and
                     Substance abuse intensive outpatient (SAIOP). Serves Albany and surrounding communities.
                    Agape Recovery Outreach is a privately run twelve-step recovery residence for recovering
                     alcoholics and drug addicts located in Albany.
                    The Sycamore Center, Inc. provides free substance abuse services to children and adolescents
                     ages 12 to 17 and is located in Albany.
                    The Private Clinic of Albany provides an Opiate Treatment Program for people dependent on
                     prescription pain medication or street opioids. Services include individual, family, career, and
                     group counseling, patient and community education, treatment planning, community referrals, and
                     medical services.
                    The Millennium Center located in Randolph County (Region 8) provides in-patient substance
                     abuse treatment for women. Children are allowed to live at the facility while their mother

          receives treatment.
         GA Pines Community Service Board in Thomasville provides addictive disease services to
          include: Medication administration, medical and nursing assessment, group and individual
          counseling, residential detoxification, dual diagnosis residential, outpatient services, community
          support team (CST), psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR), community support individual (CSI), and
          substance abuse intensive outpatient (SAIOP). GA Pines serves Mitchell, Grady, Thomas,
          Decatur, Seminole and Colquitt Counties.

Marijuana use is rampant throughout Region X. For this reason, in addition to drastic budget cuts, we must
look at the impact the caregivers substance abuse has on the child(ren) and whether or not substance abuse
alone places the child at risk or in an unsafe situation. The family’s history, parents/caregivers level of
functioning, functioning of the child(ren), whether or not the child has knowledge of the drug use and
supervision issues among others items are all considered when making the decision to drug screen or make a
referral for a substance abuse assessment.

Specify the following services utilized in the region:
Services to protect children in the home and prevent removal:

Services are not readily accessible in our rural counties. Individuals in these counties must travel elsewhere
to gain access to service providers. This is costly and not feasible in all situations. At the beginning of the
fiscal year regional contracts were implemented with providers and this did assist some of the more rural
counties in obtaining access to service providers. All counties have access to contract providers for Early
Intervention, Parent Aide, Homestead, Wrap Around, CCFA and IFI services. Even though these services
are available our funds are extremely limited due to budget cuts. Each family’s needs have to be carefully
assessed and prioritized. Dougherty and Thomas Counties are the only counties in the region with mental
health facilities. The remaining counties in the region must make referrals to these facilities that are already
over burdened and this poses hardship families we serve. Most counties are utilizing LIPT meetings to
access various community resources to assist in maintaining children in their homes. We have tapped into
MSW students working on their practicum to provide some services. A student in Terrell County has
implemented a fatherhood initiative and she is providing workshops and collaborating with CSE for
additional resources.

Services to promote reunification of children in foster care:

Wraparound services are available for reunification services and each county has access to contract
providers. Additional substance abuse resources are needed in the rural counties. Lack of and burdened
mental health resources, as mentioned above, is often a barrier to reunification. Region X does have a bi-
monthly system of care meetings with mental health, DJJ and other community resources in which we can
collaborate and explore resources.

Services to promote timely adoptions:

Most counties in Region X have a dedicated CM that works with children that are free for adoption. This
practice has developed master practitioners that are able to expedite the adoption process and assist newer
staff in developing this skill set. The RAC is very involved and plays a critical role in timely adoptions.
Quarterly adoption tracking meetings are held between the RAC and county to ensure timely adoptions.
Possible barriers are also discussed at this meeting in an attempt to resolve. The RAC is also assisting
counties in tracking and anticipating upcoming TPR’s so that resources may be identified, policy
implications considered and adoption preparation for the resource and child. She assists counties with
recruiting families that are the best possible match for children and initiates blind recruitment when
appropriate. Region X utilizes contract providers for conversions and stripping records and typically makes
the referral for the child life history when the TPR packet is submitted.

Services to support adoptive families and prevent disruption after placement and finalization:

IFI, the SCIT (state crisis intervention team) and other contract agencies have been utilized to prevent
disruptions. GA Mentor provides excellent intervention specifically designed for the special dynamics of
adoptive families dealing with adjustment issues, understanding a child’s needs, etc. The RAC has provided
training on available resources to prevent disruptions at Supervisors meetings. One of these resources is the
GA Center for Resources and Support. Our Regional advisor is Kym Wynn and we work with her through
the RAC. They assist in anticipating issues, making appropriate referrals needed to sustain the placement
and prevent disruption. Region X routinely anticipates needed services based on the child and resource and

            has these services in place prior to placing the child.

            Describe the services the Region provides to youth in foster care to prepare them for independent
            living and to make the transition from foster care to adulthood?
            Identify strengths and barriers or gaps in the provision of services in the region.

            When children are eligible for ILP services the ILC is made secondary in SHINES. The ILC provides
            orientation to new youth. The ILC ensures the Casey Life Skills Assessment is completed and updated at
            required intervals. Training has been provided at supervisors meetings and one on one as needed on how to
            complete and interpret the assessment. Identified needs are incorporated into the youths WTLP. The ILC
            works with the county to ensure WTLP’s are child specific and that the youth was engaged in the
            development of the plan. The ILC has diligently worked to update youth detail pages in SHINES for all
            youth and to ensure all activities are documented in SHINES.

            Some ILP services include career options, food and nutrition, health and safety, financial literacy/budgeting,
            work experience through Teen Work and the National Social Work program through Albany State

            Strengths include the exploration and development of partnerships help provide necessary and mandatory
            services. Partners include county extension agents and local colleges. The extension agents have provided
            workshops on financial literacy/budgeting, manners, food nutrition and preparation, career exploration.
            Local colleges have provided assistance with career exploration and information on obtaining a college

            The ILC engages foster parents and group homes throughout the region to ensure children receive the
            services they need to prosper as an adult.

            The only barrier for ILP services is when children are placed outside of the region and the ILC is not
            involved or the position is vacant. In these situations it is difficult to monitor and assess the quality of
            services youth are receiving. The Region X ILC has assisted in these situations.

Region 11        How effective is the Region’s array of services in meeting the needs of the children and families it
                 serves, including family preservation and foster care cases?

                 The majority of counties within the Region are able to provide an array of services to meet the needs of
                 children and families in both program areas. At all contacts with families, the need for services is
                 assessed and referrals are made for appropriate community services. Financial assistance for housing,
                 utilities, parent education, and Babies Can’t Wait are examples of community supports. PUP funds are
                 often utilized to assist in meeting financial needs. When cases are identified as needing Family
                 Preservation Services, a Family Team Meeting is held. The focus is to identify needed family services
                 and to develop a family plan to reduce risk and provide protection for children. All children entering
                 care receive medical and dental examinations as well as age appropriate psychological evaluations and
                 mental health treatment. While children are in foster care any of their additional needs are met.

                 Region XI lacks services to meet the needs of many delinquent teens and adults needing residential
                 substance abuse treatment. Many Region XI rural counties have limited services, which causes out of
                 county travel to obtain needed services. Transportation is always a barrier to many families the Region
                 serves, and workloads often prevent the county staff from meeting this need for families. The Region
                 depends upon the use of Family Preservation and Wrap Around Funds when needed in order to ensure
                 transportation needs are met.

                 What services are available in the Region?

                 Contracted services are provided by both community agencies and private providers. Examples of
                 these services include mental health treatment, parenting, substance abuse screenings, assessments and
                 treatment. In-home services are provided through the use of Wrap- around, Homestead and Parent Aide
                 funds. The Region XI Community Resource Specialist team maintains Resource and Referral Web
                 sites ( for each county. The region utilizes Food banks, shelters and additional
                 support services that are provided by community Faith-Based organizations. Assistance in securing

                 child care and economic support is gained through referrals to OFI. The region utilizes state-funded
                 contracts with Ashlin/Morningstar for Child Life Histories. The region also partners with experienced,
                 qualified individual contractors to ensure timely IMPACT training and assessments occur for adoptive

                 During the past year, we have suffered the loss of several services. Youth Care (Berrien, Cook, and
                 Lanier counties), Greenleaf Psychiatric Services (Tift county), Behavioral Health Services (Berrien and
                 Lanier counties), and Mental Health and Adolescent Substance Abuse programs. In addition, Coffee
                 County does not have In-Home Therapy or Crisis Intervention services.

                 Does the Region provide or contract for an adequate array of services to youth in foster care to prepare them for
                 independent living and to make the transition from foster care to adulthood? Identify strengths and barriers or
                 gaps in services.

                 Until February 2008, the Region XI Independent Living Program did not in any way prepare teenagers
                 and youth for independent living. Through the efforts of the newly appointed Independent Living
                 Coordinator, the RSSM, and the Community Resource Specialists, our Region has begun establishing a
                 solid foundation for our youth. We will offer a variety of conferences and workshops to the youth in
                 the independent living program. Workshops are planned for different locations throughout the Region
                 to ensure each youth has an opportunity to attend these events. The Region Community Resource
                 Specialists will work closely with the ILC to provide workshops, mentoring, and other ILP services
                 across the region.

                 The Region is in the process of developing Transition meetings for youth leaving care. The meetings
                 will consist of discussing employment, education, housing, and adult connections that the youth will
                 have when they transition out of care. A plan is developed with the youth, case manager and other
                 participants to provide as many services as possible to ensure youth success as they leave supervision.
                 Region XI has approximately ten youth who are no longer in care but who are being served through
                 Aftercare ILP and are in college. The Regional Resource Coordinator has recently begun her role as a
                 “mentor” for these youth to ensure 1) they have a solid adult member connected to them from their
                 home community; 2) to offer them encouragement and guidance on a monthly basis and 3) to ensure
                 that any services not being provided for them are identified and put into place. The ILC has begun to
                 assure the “Casey Assessment” is completed on all youth. The Region has begun to specialize and
                 have designated case managers that maintain adolescent caseloads.

Region 12   There is a limited number of substance abuse programs avaialble within the region for adolescents and
            mothers, and no in-patient substance abuse treatment available for fathers. The number of acceptable CCFA
            providers has diminished. The number and quality of family preservation providers and IFI providers is

            The amount of funds for purchased services within the region is insufficient to the need. Delivery of such
            services through community based services has been restricted through managed care. Availability of
            supports through public mental health services is viewed as non-existent.

            Foster care's array of services include CCFA providers, Wrap providers, and in-house staff. Some counties
            have established partnerships with local groups to receive additional support services such as parenting
            classes, mentoring for foster care youth and provision of comfort items such as toiletries, clothing and

            The array of services available to CPS families is generally limited to those that can be purchased through
            PUP providers and through collaboration with other governmental entities such as the schools, public
            health, DJJ and the courts.

            There is insufficient resources allocated to the region/county to sufficiently contract for the array of services
            generally deemed essential to support the families suffering the complex issues of today's CPS family. This
            results in a higher than desired rate of foster care placement, coupled with a lower than desired rate of
            reunification within 12 months.

            Counties within region XII are more successful in providing fo the service needs of children in care than for

            CPS families, largely due to the availability of federal funding to purchase services. Improvement in the
            monitoring of service delivery has improved in those counties experiencing a decrease in the number of
            children in care/lower caseload ratios. Gaps still exist due to the lack of staff experience/maturity and failure
            to adequately and continuously montior the impact of contract services in meeting goals.

Region 13   Fulton County has a myriad of community services that assist the Department in meeting the needs of the
            children and families it serves. There are numerous programs in the community that address domestic
            violence and substance abuse issues. Some of these programs are as follows:

                     Partnership Against Domestic Violence
                     Wrap Around Services
                     The Children and Teenagers Foundation
                     Bethany Christian Services
                     Proactive Management
                     Family Ties
                     Creative Community Services
                     Chris Kids
                     Comprehensive Counseling Solutions
                     Drug Treatment Programs
                     Youth Villages


            Services to protect children in the home and prevent removal:

            There are a myriad of services utilized to protect children in the home and prevent removal. Some of the
            services utilized in Fulton County are as follows:

                     Intensive Family Intervention
                     Youth Villages
                     Wrap Around Services
                     Respite Services-non foster care services (Bethany Christian Services)
                     Intensive Family Preservation Services
                     Parent Aid Services
                     Early Intervention Services
                     Private Providers
                     Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Region 14   In-house DV assessor & In-house Substance abuse assessor. Dekalb County is a resource rich county,
            which allows us to connect families to a variety of services within the region. Many of our contracted
            providers are liscensed to provide both DV assessments & substance abuse assessments.

            We have a court liason who is responsible for connecting families, who are inquiring about deprivations, to
            our community partners for in-home services. We have a Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) protocol
            that we utilize with teens who are not maltreated but have delinquent issues. The re-entry program is
            utilized to prevent re-entry & entry into care. Two providers are utilized to provide crisis level intervention
            to families in the re-entry program. The Family Support unit provides prevention services to families at the
            ARC (Access Resource Center). The TDM process mandates that all deprivation cases be discussed with
            the family prior to deprivation. The family is an intricate part of this process. We utilize several
            community services providers and our regions Intensive unit to prevent removal.

            The region is fortunate to have so many resources. Some of the barriers we encounter are lack of quality
            services for children who suffer from significant mental health issues. We struggle with locating emergency
            beds for teen males in the region. There appears to be an increase in Gang related cases in the region. We
            do not have the expertise to address the issues specific to this population. In addition, adolescents who are
            struggling with drug addiction is also a challenge

Region 15       What services are available in the Region?

                Parent Aide, Homestead, Early Intervention, IFI, DJJ, Court Services, Churches, Outpatient substance
                abuse treatment, eligibility services, Vocational Rehabilitation, Fatherhood program, Head start, ILP
                services, Domestic Violence counseling and treatment.

                Specify the following services utilized in the region:

                Services to protect children in the home and prevent removal:

                Homestead, Parent Aide, Early Intervention, community resources (church counseling), safety plans,
                safety resources and Pup funds.

                Services to promote reunification of children in foster care:

                FTM’s, Wrap around support, IFI Services, substance abuse treatment, counseling, parent education,
                Fatherhood program.

                Services to promote timely adoptions:

                My Turn Now, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Wednesday’s child, The Heart Gallery. In house staffings
                between resource development and adoption workers to identify matches or special recruitment needs.

                Services to support adoptive families and prevent disruption after placement and finalization:

                Ensure services are in place prior to finalization. Special needs determination is submitted for all
                children. Presentation staffings are through and all involved parties are included. CORE services and
                the Mentor Team are used immediately if issues arise.

                Describe the services the Region provides to youth in foster care to prepare them for independent living
                and to make the transition from foster care to adulthood?

                Clients participate in ILP/life skills at placement or by attending ILP workshops. The focus is on
                budgeting, house keeping, preparing resumes, interview skills, completing job applications, how to
                seek housing, etc. Case managers ensure youth have completed high school or obtain their GED.
                Youth are encouraged to attend college, tech, or trade school. They are informed on how to obtain
                financial aid. Youth who are working are required to open a savings account. Transitional living
                assessments are completed on those who are mature/qualified to have their own apartment. If
                appropriate, youth are assisted with getting and maintaining an apartment.

                Identify strengths and barriers or gaps in the provision of services in the region.

                Housing is an issue for youth who have been difficult to maintain once they become 17 and older.
                There is little to no service available once they turn 18 and can not be maintained in care. The agency
                has been successful in referring those youth to the Covenant House which assists in meeting the
                client’s needs, if they comply with the program.

Region 16   Region 16 has a full menu of services and service providers from the private and public sectors to assist us
            in providing critical services to our families.
            Region 16 has been the demonstration region to implement Integrated Family Services (Safe Care) targeting
            parents with children under age 5 and providing intensive, hands on parenting instruction around safety,

            health and thriving children. Ther Region also continues to use traditional Family preservation services
            through Homestead, parent aide, PUP, and Early Intervention services.

            Clayton has three PSSF grant programs that offer in home parenting (Extension Service), support to
            grandparents (Aging) and relative care giver support (CASA). Referrals to a variety of public and
            community based services such as Babies Can't Wait, WIC , mental health and faith based resources are
            typically utilized in CPS and Diversion.

            In an effort to promote family engagement eariy in FPS cases, Clayton has initiated Family Engagement
            meetings convened when a case has been identified as needing Fam Pres services. Private providers who
            will be implementing services in the case participate in these meetings and the parent actively participates in
            identifying the services needed with the case manager and provider.

            Region 16 makes extensive use of wrap around services to work towards permanency in foster care cases.
            Appropriate services are typically identified in the FTM, MDT and CCFA process. The region has a good
            number of CORE providers as well as Medicaid approved interventions such as IFI. The region launched an
            intensive schedule of permanency roundtables March-May of 2009 involving 121 children in foster care 18
            months and longer. 20% of children staffed at roundtables have achieved permanency. A waiver system for
            "busting barriers " to permanency has been utilized in the roundtable process to reach higher levels of
            permanency for some youth, e.g., permanent guardianship rather than long term foster.

            The Region provides youth with information during ILP Orientation workshops as well as Transitional Plan
            meetings (for 17 year olds) on what their options are regarding their plan for independence once they exit
            care. The meeting talks about what services will be eligible to them whether they stay in care pass 18 or
            leave at 18. The workshops are to teach life skills to prepare youths to transition in a healthy and positive
            way out of care. These workshops should be mandatory for all youths.

            Services consist of:

            Educational- consisting of financial assistance toward post secondary, and secondary
            Employment Readiness
            Emergency Financial Assistance -consisting of food, clothing (uniforms only), rentmedical, transportation
            Drivers Education- including obtain learners permit, driver's id and driver's education
            Housing Support
            Life SKills
            Supportive Relationships
            Transitional Living Program- for youth in care between 18-21 live in their own apartments.

            Identify the gaps and barriers to services

            Region 16 has a full array of services to available to provide for our families. We also have a good level of
            competition among our private providers that gives us adequate leverage to ensure both timely and quality
            services. Region 16 is frequently called on to pilot/demonstrate new initiatives such as Safe Care which
            enhances the tools we have available to meet the unique needs of our high risk families. Many of these
            services are being offerred in the prevention stages of family need which is where the most effective work in
            child welfare can be achieved.

Region 17   Discuss how effective the State has been in meeting the title IV-B State plan requirement to provide services
            designed to help children safely and appropriately return to families from which they have been removed.

            (See C-1). Additionally using Wrap Around Finds PUP, CCFA.

            Discuss how effective the State has been in meeting the title IV-B State plan requirement to provide
            replacement preventive services designed to help children at risk of foster care placement remain safely with
            their families.

            We are utilizing PUP, Brief, Homestead, FTM’s, Parent Aide, Pre-Removal Staffing.

            Discuss how effective the State has been in meeting the title IV-B State plan requirement to provide services
            designed to help children be placed for adoption, with a legal guardian, or if adoption or legal guardianship
            are determine not to be appropriate for a child, in some other planned, permanent living arrangement.

TPR Staffings, Nine Month Staffings, Quarterly Staffing of Children Free For Adoption.

Describe the extent to which all the services in items 1-3 above are accessible to families and children on a
statewide basis.

Utilization of PUP, Homestead, Parent Aide, Brief Intervention and other local Resources. Supervisors and
case managers make determinations regarding resources to be provided to families during conferences

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