The Office of Prevention and Family Support (OPFS) works in partnership with community-based organizations committed to reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect by targeting at-risk families with evidence-based prevention and early intervention techniques to ensure positive outcomes for children and families.
State and federal funding provides families throughout Georgia with services such as parenting courses, screening and identification tools, training opportunities, high-quality home visitation and primary, secondary, and tertiary maltreatment prevention that helps local communities promote the overall health and well-being of Georgia's children, youth and families.
Health care, parenting programs, employment and housing are all important to maintaining healthy families. The goal of family support is to help parents create safe, stable and nurturing home environments that promote the safety of all family members and healthy child development. Moreover, support services improve the well-being of families, enhance family functioning, and foster a sense of self-reliance. Providing family support services to families and preventing problems before they become crises is the most effective and economical way to help vulnerable families.
The goals of the Office of Prevention and Family Support are: (1) to support community-based efforts to develop, operate, expand and enhance targeted projects and initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for children and families; and (2) to support networks of coordinated resources and activities to strengthen and support families. The division’s focus is building capacity by providing grant funding, training, and technical assistance to community-based primary and secondary child maltreatment prevention activities.
The Office of Prevention and Family Support within the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services promotes the health, safety and wellness of Georgia’s children and families by:
- Developing and enhancing community-based projects and prevention strategies which provide primary and secondary prevention programs for families to prevent child abuse and neglect
- Developing and maintaining state and local interagency collaborative efforts through systems integration and systems change aimed at improving outcomes for families and communities.
- Assisting parents in gaining the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to shape policy, programs and services that impact families;
- Engaging all sectors of the community in child abuse prevention programs and activities
- Reduce adolescent sexual activity, pregnancies, births, repeat births, and sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
- Increasing the use of abstinence education as the best health message for adolescents by initiating after-school, school-based, or community-based positive youth development programs.
- Managing Georgia’s Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (PSSF) federal child welfare funding to develop and establish, or expand, and to operate coordinated programs of community-based family support services, family preservation services, time-limited family reunification services, and adoption promotion and support services.
OPFS Support Staff:
- Serve as fiscal stewards of federal child abuse and prevention funds.
- Develop, manage, and monitor Georgia’s statewide child abuse and prevention program and the Georgia State Plan for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
- Provide training and technical assistance to community partners to build capacity and serve as statewide experts on child abuse and neglect prevention issues.
- Administers the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program, which is funded by state funds from the Georgia General Assembly and federal funds from the Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau.
Second Step FY18 Statement of Need
This Statement of Need (SoN) is for the school-based and after-school based implementation of the Second Step (SS) Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum and the Child Protection Unit (CPU), for the 2017-2018 school year. The Second Step SEL curriculum, developed by the Committee for Children (CfC), is a universal, classroom-based curriculum designed to promote children’s social and academic success by decreasing problem behaviors, increasing students’ school success, and promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation. The curriculum aims to reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviors and increase protective factors and social-emotional competence. Organized by grade level, the program teaches children empathy, problem-solving skills, risk assessment, decision-making, and goal-setting skills. The Second Step SEL curriculum is classified as a universal intervention, meaning that it is appropriate for whole classrooms of children and not just those at risk. Second Step also complements the work of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and school climate in Georgia and is NOT a replacement or substitute for PBIS. The Child Protection Unit (CPU) is designed to address the multiple influences of parent, family, child, community, and environmental characteristics that can contribute to child abuse and neglect. The unit focuses on relatable, real-life scenarios and teaches students the “Three R’s:” Recognize, Respond, and Report.