SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Savannah’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) says Chatham County has one of the largest populations of children in foster care outside of greater Atlanta.
Executive director of CASA Kate Blair said more funding is needed to help children statewide and here at home.
“We definitely need to allocate more money towards child welfare,” said Blair. “Our foster and adoption and the department of children services are greatly underfunded. And because of that children aren’t getting the support that they need … families aren’t getting the support that they need.”
Blair added that a big problem in the line of work is that there is a large amount of turnover.
“There’s just not enough staff and they are greatly underpaid,” says Blair. “So there’s constant turnover. That’s really not an area that we need to be skipping out on. These are the most vulnerable populations that we have.”
The governor wants to allocate 28-million dollars to strengthen adoption and foster care. There’s also a proposed 10% rate increase for foster parents, caregivers and child placing agencies.
“The more money the better. I’ll say that,” said Blair. “Right now a case manager could go work at Target for more money than what they get paid.”
However, CASA says it’s really about making sure they are funded well enough to not disrupt the lives of families more than they already may be.
“So if we invest in families and we invest in meeting their needs children either won’t go into foster care or they’ll be in foster care for smaller amounts of time,” says Blair.