Welfare Watch - September 14, 2009 - Rules and Laws need our Input

Public Records and Open Meetings Act - A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will take up a bill that will look at the definition of what is considered a "Public Meeting"  and "Public Records" for the purposes of the open meetings and records act.  This act provides for transparency in all government affairs.  Many organizations whether they are government agencies or not, are covered by this bill.  Most private nonprofits whose income constitutes more than 33 1/3 percent of the funds from all sources of such organization are covered by this act.  For this reason this bill is important to us. 

This House subcommittee will meet on October 27th at 9:30 am at the Capitol. 

Adoption Subsidy

The Department of Human Services is considering modifying its adoption subsidy definitions and rules.  The current rule and definition is the following:

“Special needs is defined as any child who, at the time of placement, is eight years of age or older; any child of black heritage who is one year of age or older; members of a sibling group of three or more to be placed together; members of a sibling group of two where one is over the age of eight or has another special need; and any child with documented physical, emotional, or mental problems or limitations.” 

The new rules and definition would be any child who is 12 months post-termination of parental rights (TPRs) and has not been placed in an adoption placement; two or more siblings placed in the same home; and any child with documented mental, emotional, or physical disability validated by a medical professional. 

Race and age criteria have been dropped; the sibling criterion and the disability criterion have been modified.  Since many children are placed in the foster home where they will be adopted, the length of time from post TPRs and adoption is very short.  This criteria would be meaningless for most children. 

The following concerns have been expressed by many adoption stakeholders:

A public hearing has been scheduled for September 23rd at 1:30 pm at #2 Peachtree Street, Suite 29-250, Atlanta 30303.  Written comments can be sent to Brenda King Woodard via mail or email at bkwoodard@dhr.state.ga.us by September 30th. 

Special Needs Notice
Special Needs Synopsis
CHAPTER 290-2-27 Rules And Regulations For Special Needs Children

Welfare Watch, an email newsletter of the
Georgia Association of Homes
and Services for Children
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Normer Adams, Editor

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