Launch party highlights grant to help Georgia families
The full depth and reach of the recent $8.2 million Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education grant was on display this week as several stakeholders and partners gathered for a kickoff reception at the UGA Special Collections Library.
The grant, awarded in October by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, seeks to improve the lives of children and families in the child welfare system in Georgia.
Among the numerous state partners involved in the project are UGA Extension, Georgia Family Connection, Great Start Georgia, Project Safe and Strengthening Families Georgia. The five-year project will reach nearly 1,500 families in a 13-county, mostly rural, region in northeast Georgia.
Faculty from the UGA College of Education and the School of Social Work will join with faculty and students from two departments within FACS on the project.
At the kickoff reception, FACS dean Linda Kirk Fox welcomed a group of speakers that included project director Ted Futris from HDFS; Maurice Daniels, dean of the School of Social Work; Jack Parrish, associate dean for outreach and engagement at the College of Education; and Bobby Cagle, Director of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.
Also addressing the gathering was Mary Havick, DFCS Region V director; Debbie Murray, FACS associate dean; Carole Steele, director of the Office of Prevention and Family Services; and Sherry Witherington, Director of Community Support at Georgia Family Connection Partnership.
"We were so excited to see the HMRE Reception come to fruition," Futris said. "Having so many of our partners together in the same place gave us all an opportunity to see how many people and organizations are invested in working towards the shared goal of promoting healthy and stable families in Georgia. One of the biggest highlights from the reception was having several of our key partners take time out of their busy schedules to speak about their organization and how they are involved in the HMRE Project. Although we still have a lot of work to do, the reception was confirmation that we are certainly moving in the right direction."