Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Relaunches Statewide 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia recently announced the return of 1-800-CHILDREN, its free referral line for Georgians concerned about the healthy development of children and the prevention of child abuse. The 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline is professionally staffed by operators from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia and will operate Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Unlike the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) statewide centralized intake number, the Helpline is not a number to call in crisis or when making a report of child abuse or neglect (Click here to learn how to report child abuse or neglect). Rather, operators will be available to provide information regarding parenting support, community resources, counseling services, referrals for legal needs, concern about the well-being of a child or family member, family violence, and other child maltreatment prevention issues.

PCA Georgia is a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. The organization provides statewide direction to prevent child abuse and neglect, promote healthy children, and develop strong families through its prevention network, public awareness, prevention programs, and advocacy.

Click here to find out more about 1-800-CHILDREN and PCA Georgia.

LSG and SafeCare to Help Adult Drug Court Clients

Lutheran Services of Georgia will provide SafeCare for adult drug court clients who are also parents to children ages 5 and under. SafeCare is an evidence-based home visitation program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among families with a history for maltreatment or with risk factors for maltreatment. Read the story below, reprinted with permission from the National Safecare Training and Research Institute. SafeCare is usually delivered to clients in child welfare settings with suspected or substantiated cased of maltreatment. But thanks to a 5-year grant from the Administration on Children and Families, SafeCare will be part of a package of treatments delivered to clients in Adult Drug Courts. Adult drug courts are judicially supervised treatment programs for people convicted of drug related crimes who are offered treatment instead of jail. Drug courts have an excellent track record of helping clients manage their addiction, but usually have few resources to address family issues.

Dr. Daniel Whitaker of Georgia State University and Dr. Wendy Guastaferro of John Jay College teamed with several agencies to receive a five year Regional Partnership Grant from ACF.  The grant will allow delivery of a new package of services focused on enhancing family functioning. The services provided by the grant include exposure based trauma counseling for drug court clients, child trauma using trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, and parenting services, using the SafeCare and Nurturing Parenting models.  DeKalb County Drug Court will provide exposure based trauma treatment to drug court clients using the COPE model.  Lutheran Services of Georgia will provide parenting services: SafeCare for parents with children five and under and the Nurturing model for parents of children 6 and older. The Georgia Center on Child Advocacy, will provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral treatment to children of drug court clients.  Services began in October 2013 and feedback from parents has been very positive.  Several clients have reported they have begun to rebuild relationships with their children.

GSU and John Jay will also be conducting an evaluation through annual interviews, creating video-tapes of parent-child interactions, and by examining administrative data on child welfare reports and criminal recidivism. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether the new services are helping families of drug court clients relative to families at a nearby control drug court.

Along with SafeCare, LSG offers a variety of services and programs to strengthen family relationships and build or maintain strong, healthy family units. Click here to learn more about Family Intervention Services.