By Lindsey Howerton, Director
Floyd County Department of Family and Children Services
This is the second of four articles posting Mondays in April about Child Abuse Prevention Month authored by representatives from local child abuse prevention agencies. Also: Please, join representatives to discuss child abuse prevention on Hometown Headlines Radio Edition on WRGA 98.7 FM and online at wrga.streamon.fm.
In State Fiscal Year 2017, the Floyd County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) received 1,337 reports of maltreatment concerns for children in our community. Of these, 127 were substantiated (confirmed) cases of abuse, while more than 1,000 calls were regarding families in need of services and supports from this community to ensure the safety and well-being of their children.
Each month, Floyd County DFCS serves approximately 300 families through Child Protective Services and Family Preservation Services (these are ongoing services that monitor the family situation over several months). We have 295 children in foster care, providing efforts to support these children in reunifying with their parents or achieving permanency through adoption or guardianship.
Children deserve to live in safe, healthy families supported by a strong community. Communities play an active role in preventing child abuse by supporting families. “We all can play a role in safeguarding children and this collaboration is key as we build a State of Hope in Georgia,” said Virginia Pryor, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. “A State of Hope is about the collective impact of communities creating better outcomes for children and families.”
Take Action to create Great Childhoods! There are so many small and big ways you can help! As Dr. Seuss says, “to the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.” Small actions can make lasting positive impacts to help a child and family in our community.
Some ideas of how you can get involved:
- Donate goods, money or your time to local organizations supporting families, such as Restoration Rome, Exchange Club Family Resource Center, Communities in Schools, Rome-Floyd Commission on Children and Youth, Open Door Home and Floyd County CASA.
- Volunteer to mentor and support children in your church, nearby schools or civic organizations serving children and families. Help children with their homework, which helps them succeed in school and supports their parents!
- Provide mentorship or support to parents to reunify with their children in foster care. Offer compassionate advice, transportation, job skills, etc.
- Support a local foster family. Provide frozen meals, emergency school supplies, tutoring time, babysitting for date night, emergency clothing for children, etc.
- Become a foster parent! Open your home to a child, teen or sibling group in foster care to stay in their home community. Offer partnership parenting by working with the child and parent to safely reunify!
About Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services investigates reports of child abuse and neglect; finds foster and adoptive homes for abused and neglected children; issues food stamps, Medicaid and assistance to low-income families; helps out-of-work parents get back on their feet; and provides numerous support services and programs to families in need. To report child abuse and neglect, call 1-855-GA-CHILD. To inquire about becoming a foster parent, call 1-877-210-KIDS or go to www.fostergeorgia.com! Information sessions are held at Floyd County DFCS on the third Monday of every month. Contact Griffin Nolan at 706-512-2443.