E.P.A.C. is the official educational support service for DFCS and is replacing the Comprehensive Child and Family Assessment (CCFA) educational assessments previously implemented within the division. In addition, youth in who are in the custody of DFCS may also qualify for tutorial and/or consultative services where there is a clearly identified need and where other academic services have been exhausted.
Diagnostic Educational Assessment - Each child and youth who are referred for E.P.A.C. services receive an initial diagnostic educational assessment. This assessment is provided by a certified teacher or E.P.A.C. staff member and is in the academic subjects of math and reading and provides a comprehensive review of the math and reading performance of the child/youth.
Educational Consultation to Case Managers - After a child/youth has received an initial diagnostic educational assessment, the Education Support Monitor (ESM) assigned to the region will consult with the child/youth’s case manager to develop and Education Action Plan (EAP) based on the results provided from the assessment.
Educational Consultation to Executive Staff - To ensure DHS and DFCS executive staffs are aware of the current status of the academic progress of youth in custody, the E.P.A.C. Education Quality Monitor (EQM) will consult with county and regional DFCS Directors and executive state office staff to provide updates and consultation on the outcomes of youth served. These updates and consultations may assist in the development of educational policy and practice within the division, and may provide clarification and interpretation of local and state federal laws and statutes.
Tutorial Services - Children and youth who exhibit a need for remediation or support in academics are selected to receive additional tutoring services provided by a certified teacher. These pre-selected teachers (tutors) are identified as Educational Specialists (ES) who have individually, established contracts with DFCS. For more information on how a certified teacher can become an E.P.A.C. tutor, please contact the E.P.A.C. state office staff.
Individualized Education Plan Development - For children and youth who need additional remediation and support services, the ESM and case manager for that child/youth will work together to ensure that an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for the child/youth, only if needed. The ESM will also work with the child/youth’s local school system to ensure this plan meets their current educational goals and objectives.
Advocacy - The ESM for each child/youth and the state office E.P.A.C. staff will work with local school systems and the GaDOE to ensure quality educational services for youth in the care and custody of DFCS. This advocacy can range in focus from youth who have multiple placements and need coordination of their school academic records to youth who have identified special needs and are in need of additional academic supports (i.e. IEP) that allow for increased school and learning engagement.
Resource Coordination - Each ESM will maintain an Educational Resource Directory for their region(s). This directory will provide additional support resources for their youth who are in need of additional assistance. These resources may include academic support services, community based services and child and family services.
Educational Service Monitoring of Child Caring Institutions (CCIs) - E.P.A.C. will provide additional monitoring of academic support services provided by CCIs. Due to the vulnerability of youth who reside in CCIs, and the varying academic needs of each youth, E.P.A.C. will be an additional support for these institutions.