Thu., April 12, 2012 8:28am (EDT)

Burdens Mount For Child Protectors
By Associated Press
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services lost 28 percent of its state funding for child welfare services over five years, but it’s ramping up services, adding more children to its foster care population. (Photo Courtesy of Vortex 22 via Flickr.)
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services lost 28 percent of its state funding for child welfare services over five years, but it’s ramping up services, adding more children to its foster care population. (Photo Courtesy of Vortex 22 via Flickr.)
More Georgia children are getting state protection under new policies, but child welfare advocates say the agency responsible for helping them is being strained by budget cuts.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services lost 28 percent of its state funding for child welfare services over five years and is bracing for the loss of millions in federal dollars.

The loss of funding comes at a time when the agency is striving to ramp up services. State figures show that from February 2011 to February 2012, the agency added nearly 725 children to its foster care population, a 10 percent increase.

Investigations into child abuse and neglect have more than doubled in that time, to an average on any given day of 3,432.