Georgia health care had more than its share of drama and surprises in 2013. Some of the big stories were linked to the Affordable Care Act. This far-reaching federal law, passed in early 2010, was still generating changes and attracting controversy as if it were brand new. But the ACA wasn’t the only hot topic in Georgia health. Issues ranged from drug scares to complex policy disputes and funding battles.
A state agency has issued its first-ever yearly report on deaths of children involved in the child protection system. It found unusually high numbers of deaths in some parts of Georgia. The report by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services analyzed the causes of the deaths and identified ways the agency could improve both its prevention and responses to deaths.
A new leader whom state officials hoped would bring stability to a child protection office in Columbus now under law enforcement scrutiny has resigned just months into his new job. Jose Marrero, director of the Muscogee County office of the Division of Family and Children Services, is leaving a position he started in July. It was not immediately clear when his resignation will take effect.
People reporting child abuse in Georgia may soon be directed to a centralized call center. It’s a decision the Division of Family and Children Services is considering after two state employees were fired this month, charged with falsifying child abuse records.
Georgia officials are debating whether to route callers reporting child abuse to a centralized center rather than through a Columbus office where two child protection workers were accused of tampering with reports. The director of the Division of Family and Children Services, Ron Scroggy, said Tuesday that officials have long felt that a centralized call center would be better than having each county office handle calls.
A report by federal monitors says foster children in Fulton and DeKalb counties are being abused and neglected at the highest rate in four years. The report found that 25 of just over 21-hundred children were abused or neglected.