Soc 331 Reflective Paper
November 10, 2012
The Department of Family and Children services was set up in Georgia during the 1930’s The Welfare system started out as a program to help families and individuals who had little or no income. Every month thousands of people in Georgia depend upon receiving their welfare benefits in order to get by. Georgia’s welfare programs offer benefits, and services that help people in their time of need. It may include helping them with food, shelter, and medical assistant (DHS.georgia.gov, 2010). The mission of Georgia’s Department of Family and Children services is to, “strengthen Georgia by providing individuals and families access to services that promote self sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia’s vulnerable children and adults” (DHS.georgia.gov, 2010). The goals of Georgia’s Department of Family and Children services are: children are nurtured, safe and engaged, families will have access to quality early care and education, enhance prevention and early intervention efforts throughout Georgia, and to develop their employees at all levels within the agency (DHS.ga..gov, 2003). “The Georgia Department of Human Resources was created by the Georgia General Assembly in the Government Reorganizational Act of 1972” (DHS.georgia.gov, 2010). The Act consolidated the Department of Public Health and the Department of Family and Children Services and other Georgia state programs (DHS.georgia.gov. 2010). The agency was formerly known as the Department of Human Resources. Today it is known as the Department of Human Services (DHS). Georgia Department of Human Services offers Welfare programs not for the purpose of people depending upon them for a long period of time. It is intended for people that are down on their luck and need help for a limited time. The department is of composed of three program divisions; Aging Services, Child Support Services, and Family and Children Services, and six Enterprise support functions, including Legislative Affairs & Communications, Financial Services, General Counsel, Information Technology, Inspector General, and Contracts, and Procurement (DHS.georgia.gov, 2010). Georgia Department of Human Services is responsible for the administering human services throughout the state of Georgia. The department serves the entire Georgia area through the assistance programs; which makes up the Social welfare programs. ‘‘There are over 8 thousand employee manage over sixty programs in all 159 counties within Georgia’’ (DHS.georgia.gov, 2010). Goal: Children are nurtured, safe and engaged The well being of children are very important to the Department of Human Resources within the state of Georgia. This is why the state of Georgia offers Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It is a program that helps to aid families with dependent children (DFCS, 2003). The goal is to provide assistance to families in need so that their children can be cared for in their own homes by relatives. The program aims to end the dependency of needy parents on government benefits by providing job training. This program has medical assistance for those who are eligible. In Georgia, the TANF program provides cash assistance based on ones’ income, needs, resources, or family size. After receiving this benefit for two years, the families must find work through subsidized or unsubsidized employment, community service, twelve month job preparation training, or on the job training. Any parent that has a child under the age of six and cannot find day care is eligible for TANF benefits. The TANF program aims at educations and it helps to assist people in jobs. This type of programs is financed through grants from the federal government. It helps provides funds that helps to supply children with food, shelter, clothing, and things of that nature. TANF also helps to pay for day care in order to help a struggling family (DFCS, 2003). Enhance prevention and Early Intervention throughout Georgia: Georgia’s WIC is the nation 's fifth largest Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. By having this kind of program it is ensuring that early prevention of malnutrition is being stopped in its track. This type of program that the Georgia’s Welfare has been using is essential to proper prevention in their children. The Food and Nutrition Service of Georgia administers the program at the federal level and provides funds to state agencies for implementation. “At the state level, the Department of Community Health, Georgia Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Program, Office of Nutrition and WIC administer the program” (Wic.ga.gov, n.d.). WIC has provided nutrition education and supplemental foods to low income families for over thirty years. In 2010, Georgia’s WIC provided benefits to approximately 303,000 participants; the contribution was approximately $3.3 billion to the state 's economy (WIC.ga.gov, n.d.). “Georgia’s WIC services are provided through 18 health districts and two contract agencies. Services are provided at over 220 locations including: 172 health departments, 28 community health centers, 13 hospitals, 5 military bases, and 2 Division of Family and Children Services” (WIC.ga.gov. n.d.). 99 sites provide WIC and other services during a WIC visit, 98 provide other services by referral within the same location, and 26 provide other services by referral to another location. Most locations have extended hours. There are 1,600 authorized vendors that are participating in the WIC food delivery system on a monthly basis; that is over one million vouchers each month. In Georgia, infant formula manufacturers competitively bid for the sole-source WIC contract every three years. Under this agreement, non-breastfeeding infants enrolled in WIC may receive either a milk-based or soy-based iron-fortified infant formula produced by the contracted manufacturer. Infants with special dietary needs may receive an appropriate alternative formula, according to Georgia’s WIC policies and federal regulations. A medical prescription is required in order for an infant with special dietary needs to receive an exempt, non-contracted formula. So far Georgia is meeting their goals on the mission that they set out to do with the Department of Family and Children Services. One thing is believe to help reduce this number; all recipient that are receiving these kinds of benefits need to be drugged test (Haines, E., 2012). This is a way in which the agency can improve its effectiveness towards their goals (DHS.georgia.gov, n.d.). They need to be allowed a certain time limit in order to receive these benefits, and they need to be monitored more thoroughly with what they are actually doing with the funds. The list could go on about the steps that could be taken in order for people to get off of these benefits. However, some people seem to want to abuse the program. Not only in the state of Georgia but throughout the nation the government feared that Americans were abusing the welfare system by not looking for jobs and having more children, to increase aid, in 1996, President Clinton signed a reform law giving control of welfare to the states (Powell, S., n.d.) Drug testing with the agency was intended to protect poor children and help addicted adults rebuild their lives. Another intent was to ensure that welfare benefits are used for their intended purpose, and not to subsidize drug use and associated criminal activity (Haines, E., 2012). This could help with the future of The Department of Human services to meet their goals. The programs within the state of Georgia need to be protected in order to make sure that they make an impact on the criminal justice system by lessening the criminal activity that is going on in the Georgia’s welfare sector (Haines, E., 2012). During its existence, the Department of Family and Children Services has experienced many changes in responsibilities because of many emerging economic and social challenges experienced in the State. On the whole, the trend has been a steady increase in the demands made upon fiscal and physical resources and facilities, consistent with Georgia’s growth and cultural diversity. The Georgia Department of Family and Children Services are proud to be part of a nation whose history and tradition reflect that its communities strive to responds to the citizens ' needs. Services are provided to everyone regardless of their race, color, creed, political or religious beliefs (DHS.ga.gov, 2010).
Training of Employees The GDFS make sure that their employees receive the Education and the proper training. The employees receives training that is based upon improving their skills, attitudes, knowledge that is effective to run a smooth organization (Jackson, M., 2012). According to social worker Mark Jackson, the department is very serious when it comes to the training they receive. The departments have developed programs that helps to keep them informed to what the primary need of their specific fields are. The department has recognized the changes that are happening within the state as well as the communities (Jackson, M., 2012). There are many challegenes that the social workers in Georgia face every day; in return it affects the children and the families (Jackson, M., 2012). Programs are set up in order to teach social workers how to maintain communication, how to set boundaries, and how to approach their clients with positive influence. According to Mark Jackson, this is one effort that is aiming the department to one more step to fulfilling their mission. For the social service organizations, it is getting hard to continue the job of providing services without the availability of sufficient funds. Besides this, the funds available are not properly utilized to the fullest and much of the funds go in vain. A serious problem is poor-fund management, and there is questioning of these organizations genuinely functioning. A closer monitoring of the utilization of funds is required, and the audit reports must be made available to the public. In the future, the social organizations need to be more resourceful because there may be a shortage of funds available and under such economic circumstances. They much focus on achieving greater results with minimal expenditures and the organizational operations must be clear and transparent to all those who are directly or indirectly a part of these social activities (Dolgoff & Steinfield, 2013). The departments in Georgia reported during 2003-2004, that their case loads were too large. As a result the families that were entered into Georgia’s welfare system were help immediately. The results have improved since then. The social workers case loads have been lighten. Mr. Jackson stated that since Georgia has improved the way that they have handled new cases, they have been able to help more families. Positive results: More families that are at high risk have received more help Fewer children are in foster care More children are living with their families and receiving the departments help More jobs training programs have been taken by people on Georgia’s welfare program The ongoing work groups within this state have helped many families to be able to stay together. The families are able to provide for their children and to pay their bills. Mr. Jackson, states that if the department did not pay attention to the out cries of the state as well as the communities a lot of the families would have lost their children to the foster system. The Georgia Department of Human Services has had a large budget cut. This affected the reduction of staffing, and restructuring (GBPI, 2012). The demand for people needing assistance has steadily has been on the rise. In the year of 2013 the Department’s budget will also be a struggle. They will have to continue with reduction in staff, state funds cuts, and the reduction of service (GBPI, 2012). The state will be operating with a 20% reduction from the budget that they had been working with in 2009. The loss is $37.3 million in federal Temporary Assistance for the Needy (GBPI, 2012). In 2009, Georgia’s state budget was $581,422,041 compared to 2013 at $465,326,537. The impact that Georgia’s welfare have on the criminal justice system is that it would grow child poverty. Children are being placed with family members, foster care, or friends of the family. Women in prison are five times more than men to have their children removed from their families and placed into foster systems (Sentencing project, n.d.). In return this is more money that is needed for the social agency to take care of these children.
Criminal Justice impact: Criminal justice consists in human rights that the criminal denied and in trying punishments to the choice of the criminal. It is about affirming rights and setting the justice parameters within which social goals may be pursued by punishing. But in that criminal justice has only a symbolic and framing function, it currently attracts a share of public resources grossly disproportionate to its practical importance, while responsibility for the welfare goals of crime policy are given to jurists whose competence lies in justice, not welfare.
Accordingly, the social welfare impacts of crime and the measures for minimizing them should be the focus of a separate ministry parallel to the ministries of health and education. “This would mean a massive shift in resources from the criminal justice system to what might be called the criminal welfare system” (Mangrove, 2011). The new ministry would have responsibility for all aspects of crime as a social evil—for devising programs to eliminate its social causes. This ministry would also take over the sentencing function from judges. Once an accused was found guilty in court, the sentencing would be submitted to an administrative body. They would determine, within the parameters set by legislation. The specific sentence required for deterrence and reform. “There are no reasons why a judge should decide. The end result would be a coherent policy toward crime reduction pursued within parameters set by a separate justice system” (Mangrove, 2011). In conclusion, the Georgia’s Social Welfare was constructed after the Great Depression. There primary goals was to focus on families that needed assistance for medical, money, and housing. The Welfare system started out as a program to help families and individuals who had little or no income. Though many people are still receiving these benefits in Georgia. Georgia is trying to come up with way to help people get off of these benefits as well as not to abuse them.
Dolgoff, R. & Feldstein, D. (2013). Understanding social welfare: A search for social justice (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
DFCS, (2003). Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. Retrieved November 08, 2012 from http://dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/sites/dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/files/imported/DHR- -DFCS/DHR-DFCS-Commonfiles
DHS (2010). Georgia Department of Human Services. Retrieved November 09, 2012 from http://dhs.georgia.gov/sites/dhs.georgia.gov/files/DHS%20FACT%20SHEET%2010.pdf
Dolgoff, R. & Feldstein, D. (2013). Understanding social welfare: A search for social justice (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson
GPBI, (2012). FY Budget Analysis 2013: Human Services. Retrieved November 07, 2012 from http://gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FY-2013-Budget-Analysis-Human-Services.pdf
Haines, E., (2012). Governor Deal sign bill requiring drug testing for benefits. Retrieved November 08, 2012 from http://www.times-herald.com/local/Deal-OKs-bill-requiring-drug- Testing-for-benefits-
Jackson, M., (2012). Interview with a Social Worker.
Mangrove, (2011). Social Welfare Impact on Crime. Retrieved from http://www.innovatingjustice.com/innovations/Crime-as-Injustice,-Crime-as-Evil
Powell, S., (n.d.). Welfare Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_7708531_ Welfare-regulations.html
References: Dolgoff, R. & Feldstein, D. (2013). Understanding social welfare: A search for social justice (9th ed.) DFCS, (2003). Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. Retrieved November 08, 2012 from http://dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/sites/dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/files/imported/DHR- -DFCS/DHR-DFCS-Commonfiles DHS (2010) ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson GPBI, (2012) http://gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FY-2013-Budget-Analysis-Human-Services.pdf Haines, E., (2012) November 08, 2012 from http://www.times-herald.com/local/Deal-OKs-bill-requiring-drug- Testing-for-benefits- Jackson, M., (2012). Interview with a Social Worker. Mangrove, (2011). Social Welfare Impact on Crime. Retrieved from http://www.innovatingjustice.com/innovations/Crime-as-Injustice,-Crime-as-Evil