The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has obtained an email that says the Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF) Executive Director Jennifer Bennecke will resign August 15. The email to GOCF’s advisory board members, says Bennecke will not return following maternity leave. According to advisory board member Judge Steven Teske, Bennecke is resigning for personal reasons.
JJIE also received a letter to GOCF from the Georgia Office of Audits and Accounts saying it will perform a "special examination" of GOCF's "performance and expenditures, including Children's Trust Fund revenues, that may be considered in connection with potential mergers with other organizations."
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue created GOCF in 2008 by joining together the Children’s Trust Fund Commission and the Children and Youth Coordinating Council into one organization. Bennecke is the new organization's first executive director.
Earlier in the year JJIE reported that Bennecke was at the center of some controversy when current Gov. Nathan Deal attempted to fold another organization, the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, a 20-year old statewide public-private collaboration, and its budget of nearly $8 Million, into GOCF. Currently the Partnership is attached to the Department of Human Services.
Bennecke's office did not return calls for comment by JJIE.