DFACS Reorganization

Gov. Sonny Perdue claims the changes will be made to ensure the safety and well being of Georgia's children.

Over the years, more and more needy families have come to depend on the Georgia DFACS.

"We have seen high caseloads, and also we have seen a need for some enhanced training for our staff."

Department heads made history this week with a complete overhaul of the way the agency operates.

One of the biggest changes the restructuring will make is the creation of two offices within the division: the locally operated Office of Child Protection and the regionally supervised Office of Family Independence.

The two offices will separate the duties previously performed by DFACS as a whole. OCP will prioritize child protection, and OFI will focus on making families more independent.

"The staff will continue to be housed in the local offices, so services will continue and hopefully we'll be able to improve the quality of service delivery," says Linda Hogan, director of Thomas County DFACS.

State officials say the quality of education provided to caseworkers will also improve. Several new training programs will be offered to potential employees.

"There's more there for workers who are coming in. They'll be working more and we'll be able to retain them more in the department," says Yvonne Armster, a child protection supervisor.

With more employees and more specialized areas of service, DFACS officials hope to ensure that Georgia's children will be kept safe.

DFACS officials say changes will begin to go into effect on April 1.