Foster Parent Bill of Rights
The Foster Parent Bill of Rights became law on July 1, 2004 and outlines 23 rights for DFCS foster parents. The law covers issues such as non-discrimination, distribution and disclosure of information, financial reimbursement, and the right to have input into case planning for children. It includes a provision for advocates who can provide support to foster parents during child protective services investigations or through the grievance process. The Bill of Rights also allows for foster parents to file grievances when they believe that any of these rights have been violated. The 23 rights can be found by clicking on the Grievance Procedures/Forms link below.
When there is a presumed violation of these rights and any others determined by the Agency, foster families can file a grievance. The grievance process is comprised of 3 steps:
- Step One Grievance: Submit a written complaint to the local DFCS County Director via Foster Parent Grievance Notification: County Director.
- Step Two Grievance: If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 15 business days from the date the complaint was received by the local DFCS, submit a written complaint to the State DFCS Division Director via Foster Parent Grievance Notification: State Division Director along with a copy of Foster Parent Grievance Notification: County Director, the local DFCS response, and any other pertinent documentation to the State DFCS Division Director or his/her Designee for resolution at:
- Step Three Grievance: If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 15 business days from the date the complaint was received by the State DFCS Division Director, submit a written complaint to the State Mediation Committee (SMC) via Foster Parent Grievance Notification: State Mediation Committee along with the entire complaint packet, including responses from the local DFCS and State Division Director to:
- Confirm acceptance of the review/staffing appointment from the SMC via telephone, facsimile, or letter before the complaint will be placed on the SMC’s calendar.
- Comply with any requests from the SMC for additional information within three business days of receipt.
- Accept the outcome from the mediation as final and determinative of all issues.
See the Foster Parent forms
Division of Family and Children Services
2 Peachtree Street N.W. Suite 19.490
Atlanta, GA 30303
State Mediation Committee
Office of the Child Advocate
State of Georgia
7 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 347
Atlanta, GA 30334
NOTE: If the Step Three Grievance is not filed within 10 business days of the Step Two (DFCS Division Director Response), the grievance is considered closed and no mediation will occur
NOTE: The mediation will result in a written agreement signed at the mediation or an impasse. Either way, it is the end of the grievance process.
The State is committed to establishing a partnership and support for caregivers. The Caregiver Ombudsman serves as an advocate for caregivers. The Ombudsman is a neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner for foster caregivers. The Ombudsman will focus on the following:
- Provide assistance to foster caregivers acting as a source of information and referral.
- Assist in the resolution of concerns and critical situations through the Foster Parent Grievance process
- Investigates complaints and make recommendation for resolutions.
- Volunteer Coordinator
Contact Caregiver Ombudsman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.