Today, the Georgia Department of Human Services, as authorized by the Board of Human Services, filed three amendments to the Rules and Regulations for Child Placing Agencies with the Secretary of State. The amendments, which will go into effect March 13, 2023, eliminate the need for providers to request waivers of certain regulatory requirements and make certain regulatory requirements less burdensome for providers.
“I want to thank Chair Robertiena Fletcher and members of the board for approving these amendments to improve and streamline our Rules and Regulations for Child Placing Agencies,” said Commissioner Candice Broce. “With safety as our top priority, we will continue to make further improvements and reforms where they are needed.”
The first amendment is a change to the definition of “foster family” or “foster home” in Rule 290-9-2-.01, adding the term “foster” to clarify that a foster family or foster home may provide care to up to six children in foster care, unless limited exceptions apply. In the previous rule, the definition was interpreted to include children in foster care and all other children residing in the home in the home capacity.
An amendment to Rule 290-9-2-.04 updates the minimum qualifications for caseworker supervisors to add special education, guidance counseling, social science, and related fields to the areas of study in which a master’s degree can be obtained. The provision has also been modified to include a minimum requirement of one year of experience in a human services delivery field. The minimum requirement of two years of caseworker experience in a child-placing agency was removed.
The third and final amendment, to Rule 290-9-2-.07, outlines the limited exceptions that permit more than six children in foster care to reside in a single “foster family” or “foster home.” Among other circumstances, this amendment would allow a family to exceed this number to keep a parenting youth in foster care with the parenting youth’s child(ren) and/or keep siblings together.
The Board of Human Services voted to adopt these amendments on Wednesday, Feb. 15, during their regularly scheduled meeting. DHS held a 30-day public comment period and public hearing before bringing the amendments to the board.