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Georgia State Code
Title      49
Chapter       5  
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Title 49, Chapter 5, Section 8 (49-5-8)

(a) The Department of Human Resources is authorized and empowered, through its own programs and the programs of county or district departments of family and children services, to establish, maintain, extend, and improve throughout the state, within the limits of funds appropriated therefor, programs that will provide:

(1) Preventive services as follows:

(A) Collecting and disseminating information about the problems of children and youths and providing consultative assistance to groups, public and private, interested in developing programs and services for the prevention, control, and treatment of dependency, deprivation, and delinquency among the children of this state; and

(B) Research and demonstration projects designed to add to the store of information about the social and emotional problems of children and youths and improve the methods for dealing with these problems;

(2) Child welfare services as follows:

(A) Casework services for children and youths and for mothers bearing children out of wedlock, whether living in their own homes or elsewhere, to help overcome problems that result in dependency, deprivation, or delinquency;

(B) Protective services that will investigate complaints of deprivation, abuse, or abandonment of children and youths by parents, guardians, custodians, or persons serving in loco parentis and, on the basis of the findings of such investigation, offer social services to such parents, guardians, custodians, or persons serving in loco parentis in relation to the problem or bring the situation to the attention of a law enforcement agency, an appropriate court, or another community agency;

(C) Supervising and providing required services and care involved in the interstate placement of children;

(D) Homemaker service, or payment of the cost of such service, when needed due to the absence or incapacity of the mother;

(E) Boarding care, or payment of maintenance costs, in foster family homes or in group-care facilities for children and youths who cannot be adequately cared for in their own homes;

(F) Boarding care or payment of maintenance costs for mothers bearing children out of wedlock prior to, during, and for a reasonable period after childbirth; and

(G) Day-care services for the care and protection of children whose parents are absent from the home or unable for other reasons to provide parental supervision;

(3) Services to courts, upon their request, as follows:

(A) Accepting for casework services and care all children and youths whose legal custody is vested in the department by the court;

(B) Providing shelter or custodial care for children prior to examination and study or pending court hearing;

(C) Making social studies and reports to the court with respect to children and youths as to whom petitions have been filed; and

(D) Providing casework services and care or payment of maintenance costs for children and youths who have run away from their home communities within this state, or from their home communities in this state to another state, or from their home communities in another state to this state; paying the costs of returning such runaway children and youths to their home communities; and providing such services, care, or costs for runaway children and youths as may be required under Chapter 3 of Title 39;

(4) Regional group-care facilities for the purpose of:

(A) Providing local authorities an alternative to placing any child in a common jail;

(B) Shelter care prior to examination and study or pending a hearing before juvenile court;

(C) Detention prior to examination and study or pending a hearing before juvenile court; and

(D) Study and diagnosis pending determination of treatment or a hearing before juvenile court;

(5) Facilities designed to afford specialized and diversified programs, such as forestry camps, ranches, and group residences, for the care, treatment, and training of children and youths of different ages and different emotional, mental, and physical conditions;

(6) Regulation of child-placing and child-caring agencies by:

(A) Setting standards for and providing consultation and making recommendations concerning establishment and incorporation of all such agencies; and

(B) Licensing and inspecting regularly all such agencies to ensure their adherence to established standards as prescribed by the department;

(7) Adoption services, as follows:

(A) Supervising the work of all child-placing agencies;

(B) Providing services to parents desiring to surrender children for adoption as provided for in adoption statutes;

(C) Providing care or payment of maintenance costs for mothers bearing children out of wedlock and children being considered for adoption; (D) Inquiring into the character and reputation of persons making application for the adoption of children;

(E) Placing children for adoption;

(F) Providing financial assistance after the consummation of a legal adoption to families adopting children who would otherwise remain in foster care at state expense. Financial assistance may only be granted for hard-to-place children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities or with other problems for whom it is difficult to find a permanent home. Financial assistance may not exceed 100 percent of the amount paid for boarding such child and for special services such as medical care not available through insurance or public facilities. Such supplements shall only be available to families who could not provide for the child adequately without continued financial assistance. The department may review the supplements paid at any time but shall review them at least annually to determine the need for continued assistance;

(G) Providing payment to a licensed child-placing agency which places a child with special needs who is under the jurisdiction of the department for adoption. Payment may not exceed $5,000.00 for each such adoption arranged by an agency. The board shall define the special needs child. One-half of such payment shall be made at the time of placement and the remaining amount shall be paid when the adoption is finalized. If the adoption disrupts prior to finalization, the state shall be reimbursed by the child-placing agency in an amount calculated on a prorated basis based on length of time the child was in the home and the services provided; and

(H) Providing payment to an agency which recruits, educates, or trains potential adoptive or foster parents for preparation in anticipation of adopting or fostering a special needs child. The board shall define the special needs child and set the payment amount by rule and regulation. Upon appropriate documentation of these preplacement services in a timely manner, payments as set by the board shall be made upon enrollment of each potential adoptive or foster parent for such services;

(8) Staff development and recruitment programs through in-service training and educational scholarships for personnel as may be necessary to assure efficient and effective administration of the services and care for children and youths authorized in this article. The department is authorized to disburse state funds to match federal funds in order to provide qualified employees with graduate or postgraduate educational scholarships in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant to Article VIII, Section VII, Paragraph I of the Constitution of Georgia; and

(9) Miscellaneous services, such as providing all medical, hospital, psychiatric, surgical, or dental services or payment of the costs of such services as may be considered appropriate and necessary by competent medical authority to those children subject to the supervision and control of the department without securing prior consent of parents or legal guardians.

(b) The department is authorized to perform such other duties as may be required under related statutes.

(c)(1) As used in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the term "state" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or any territory or possession of or territory or possession administered by the United States.

(2) The Department of Human Resources is authorized to enter into interstate compacts, on behalf of this state, with other states to provide for the reciprocal provision of adoption assistance services.

(3) The purpose of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection is to comply with the requirements of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-272) and Part E of Title IV of the Social Security Act and to assure that recipients of adoption assistance in Georgia who change their residences to other states receive adoption assistance services, other than adoption assistance payments, from their new states of residence.

Saturday May 23 14:53 EDT

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