Atlanta - Gov. Nathan Deal begins the process today for what could turn the state’s foster care system into a public-private partnership.
He is expected to meet today’s deadline to file paperwork seeking a federal waiver on how Georgia spends its foster care money.
It would be the first step towards legislation that could put the state’s foster care system in hands of faith-based and community organizations.
“No matter what changes we have, we’re going to still face problems; but I do believe if you can get the private sector involved… that we can improve outcome,” says Sen. Fran Millar (R-Atlanta) who is heading up a Senate committee looking at the issue.
The waiver would allow more flexibility in how the state spends federal dollars on children in foster care including preventive measures to keep children in their homes.
Bill Hancock, CEO of FaithBridge Foster Care, works with churches in metro Atlanta to recruit foster families and offer support to kids in foster care.
“We’ve served over 500 children and each of those cases we have been able to keep everyone of those children safe in those families,” he says.
The bill, which could call for changes by 2015, would allow more organizations like his to partner with the state to either place children in foster care or work to keep them in their homes.
Committee members heard from those affiliated with Florida’s child welfare system which began privatization in the 1990s.