Future for more child welfare funding looks bright - CBS46 News

Future for more child welfare funding looks bright

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The plan to reform Georgia's child welfare system took one step closer to becoming reality. 

The state House of Representatives on Friday approved a proposal to hire 95 more workers at the Division of Family and Children's Services. 

Gov. Nathan Deal has asked lawmakers for $27 million to strengthen the agency and hire 500 new workers.

State Rep. Terry England, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said Friday's vote "helps kick off the governor's plan to retool DFCS."

The Appropriations Committee has a big say over how much money goes to state programs.

When asked if he thinks the Governor will get the money he has requested for hiring more workers, England answered "I've heard no one in our body speak against it."

The deaths of 7-year-old Emani Moss and 12-year old Eric Forbes.

Fueled calls for more oversight of DFCS. Critics say the agency should have done more to protect the children.

"We're having a serious discussion about ways to improve the work we do to prevent unnecessary harm to vulnerable children," said State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

When asked if she thinks the governor's request will be approved, Oliver responded "I've seen no opposition to the governor's budget request."

Oliver said she wants to make sure the money is spent wisely.

"I don't know whether it's hundreds more new caseworkers. I don't know whether money should go to frontline caseworkers or supervisory management. That is a positive discussion to have though."

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