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Kudos to the Division of Family and Children Services for committing resources to the education of children in foster care!

An article in today’s AJC announces DFCS’s plans to use federal stimulus dollars to hire 150 certified teachers to tutor the 3,000 Georgia foster children who are falling behind in school. According to the article foster children in Fulton and DeKalb counties fail the 3rd grade math CRCT at twice the rate and the 8th grade math CRCT at triple the rate of their non-foster care peers.

Children in foster care have experienced trauma and upheaval in their lives that make them vulnerable to many poor outcomes. It is essential that we target resources to help them succeed and this program appears to be a solid commitment to doing just that.

DFCS and the GA Dept of Education have been working together for a while now to share data and to examine ways they can partner to improve student success. Voices commends the efforts of DFCS to share the responsibility for educating these children and we encourage all state agencies and non-profits working with children and parents to do the same.

We also encourage DFCS to collect data on the effectiveness of the program and to openly share the results with the community so successes can be built upon and challenges addressed.

Beth Locker

Policy Director

Earlier this morning, Georgia Children’s Health Alliance and the Georgia Division of Public Health hosted a forum at Zoo Atlanta to release a new report, Refocus on Child Health in Georgia 2010.

For most in the room, the data which show that children in Georgia fare poorly did not come as a shock. Georgia repeatedly ranks within the bottom in terms of outcomes for kids in areas of health and other wellbeing indicators.

But the purpose of this report goes beyond merely reporting on outcomes and discussing the quality and availability (or lack thereof) of child health data in the state. As the authors of the report state in their Executive Summary, “ultimately, the report should motivate individuals and organizations to take action[.]”

Check out the report and become more informed.  Be motivated and ready to take action.

Joann Yoon, Assoc. Policy Director for Child Health

www.georgiavoices.org

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