Normer Adams: Data Matters

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"Anything worth doing is worth measuring," is the philosophy of the Fostering Court Improvement.

Fostering Court Improvement is a non-profit organization that uses data to assist Dependency Courts and Child Welfare Agencies in making informed decisions, managing their operations, monitoring their performance and making systemic changes to improve outcomes for children and families. Their roots and founding are in Georgia. Georgia's own Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University works very closely with the Family Research Center at the University of Illinois to refine data so that it is usable and accessible to the courts and child welfare agencies.  It is a terrific resource to our State and those involved in advocacy for the wellbeing of children in Georgia.

They have an excellent website that has the latest information concerning many states including Georgia.

Georgia's data is very informative and complete.  Data is sorted by county, region, judicial circuit and judicial district.  Comparisons can be made relative to how counties are doing in comparison to each other.

Did you know that in regard to counties per 10,000 residents that:

  • Children subject to maltreatment investigations - Lanier County was the highest (55.5) and Webster County was the lowest number of investigations (0).
  • Children subject to a victim investigation - Lanier County had the highest (38.6) and Fayette County the lowest (.8).
  • Children in foster care - Polk had the most (163) and Calhoun, Warren and Wilkes had none.

These tools allow the kind of transparency that we need to transform the child welfare system to one that we can be proud of.

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Read more at www.gahsc.org/

Normer Adams is Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children and a writer, speaker and consultant on family and social issues such as advocacy. lobbying, and child welfare policy.

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