Clarke County Division of Family and Children Services

MEMBERS: 5

TERM: 5 years 

REGULAR MEETING INFORMATION:

WHEN:  Third Wednesday of each month (typically)

WHERE: Clarke County DFCS office at 284 North Avenue 
                Athens, GA 30601

TIME: 12:00 pm

AVERAGE LENGTH: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
 
SPECIAL MEETING INFORMATION: Attendance is expected at all monthly board meetings throughout the year. Additionally, attendance is expected at staff appreciation functions, annual retreats and regional and statewide board conferences and training. Board member orientation will be conducted by the DFCS County Director and DFCS Board Chairperson within 90 days of appointment.

MAJOR DUTIES/RESPONSIBILTIES: When the DFCS Boards were first created, local county Boards had limited authority over county operations. That has changed over the past several decades to more of a supportive role. The Board’s primary role is to be the link between the agency and the community. The role of local County DFCS Boards is a combination of advocacy, resource development, political activism, staff relations, customer service, and administrative functions. All of these are important to the Division and County Department.

Advocacy DFCS Board members should be strong advocates for our clients and staff. Each Board member should have a general understanding of the purpose of the Division and its operations. Board members should be constantly alert for public relations opportunities with the media, civic and faith-based organizations and other community agencies to explain the programs of the agency. As advocates of the agency, Board members should be available to contact city and county elected officials and state legislators on behalf of the County Department and unmet needs in the community.

Resource Development The agency relies on Board members to work with public officials and private citizens to identify additional resources to benefit clients and aid county DFCS operations. Examples of involvement include: speaking to groups and organizations to develop foster homes as well as assisting the County Director in obtaining adequate facilities and equipment.

Staff Partnerships and Morale Building Board members should assist the County Director and other management staff in building staff morale and motivation through recognition of good performance and demonstrating sensitivity to staff needs. When Board members share ownership with county staff for the success of the Department’s programs, the county staff are much more effective.

Customer Service The Board serves to remind county staff of the overall commitment to good customer service. Recognizing that customers enter through different doors and are from different segments of the population, many people are DFCS customers. The Board is essential in measuring the impact of customer service and program effectiveness from their unique positions in the community.

Administration and Financial The County Board reviews the annual Athens-Clarke County budgets of the county department. The State operating budget for the County Department is assigned by the Division from funds appropriated by the Georgia General Assembly. Guidelines for expending the budget are set by the Division. The County Director has authority to disperse these funds and is accountable for management of the budget. It is the responsibility of the DFCS Board to assist the County Director in requesting funds from county authorities as needed, set policy for utilization of county funds, to approve expenditures and to assist the County Director with fiscal controls. 

Requirements The County Commissioners appoint board members and all board appointments must be made from the following categories:

1. Pediatric health care providers;
2. Appropriate school personnel;
3. Emergency responders;
4. Law enforcement personnel;
5. Private child welfare service providers;
6. Alumni of the child welfare system;
7. Mental health care providers;
8. Former foster parents; and
9. Leaders within the faith-based community.
 
SPECIAL SKILLS/ EXPERTISE/ INTEREST: A board member should have a wide range of contacts, knowledge and skills which provide a rich pool of resources for expanding the ability of Clarke County Department of Family and Children Services to effectively serve the citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

APPOINTMENT OF DFCS BOARD MEMBERS: The legislation authorizes local County Commissioners to directly appointment DFCS Board members. There are some considerations to being appointed to the DFCS Board:

  1. Elected officials to the state or any political subdivision of the state (county or city) may not be appointed to the DFCS County Board, O.C.G.A Section 49-3-2 (a). 
  2. Public Assistance recipients (TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc.) may not be appointed to the DFCS Board.
  3. As a matter of policy, the Division of Family and Children Services does not support the appointment to the DFCS Board of anyone who has an immediate family member on the staff at the local DFCS office. 
The Director shall inform the Mayor and Commission in writing of any actual or potential conflict of interest. The final determination as to whether or not an applicant may be appointed shall be made by the Mayor and Commission.

Was this page helpful for you? Yes No