Georgia Division of Family and Child Services Director Out

Rachelle Carnesale will not continue as Director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Child Services (DFCS), the Associated Press reports. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Carnesale to the post less than a year ago. DFCS, part of the Department of Human Services, investigates child abuse and coordinates foster care for the state. In a statement released Monday, DFCS spokesperson Ravae Graham said the agency would begin a search for a permanent replacement soon. Carnesale was formerly acting director of the Office of Child Advocate.

Kids and the Burning Man Ethos

On October 1st, at 8:30 in the morning, I was walking across a field in north Georgia, surrounded by colorful tents, flags and decorations of all sorts. In front of me was a DJ, surrounded by a professional-looking sound system and several massive speakers. The bass in particular was very loud, and I imagine music could be heard a few miles away. Along the way I had spoken with several short-tempered and tired people. Apparently this DJ had set up his camp after midnight and begun to play his electronic music shortly after.

KIDS COUNT: Significant Decline in Children’s Economic Well Being Over Past Decade

There has been a significant decline in economic well being for low-income children and families in the last decade, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book.

Among the findings, the official child poverty rate, a conservative measure of economic hardship according to the report, increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2009. The increase represents 2.4 million more children now living below the federal poverty line, returning to roughly the same levels as the early 1990’s.

“In 2009, 42 percent of our nation’s children, or 31 million, lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line or $43,512/year for a family of four, a minimum needed for most families to make ends meet,” Laura Speer, associate director for Policy Reform and Data at the Casey Foundation, said in a press release. “The recent recession has wiped out many of the economic gains for children that occurred in the late 1990’s.”

Georgia Governor’s Office of Children and Families Executive Director to Resign

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.