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News and Notes from KidsPeace

KidsPeace Executive Director Helping Georgia Draft Performance-Based Goals

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KidsPeace is pleased to announce that Executive Director of KidsPeace Georgia, Scott Merritt, has been selected by the Georgia Department of Human Services to contribute to the development of performance based goals to improve the outcomes of children placed in foster care throughout the state. Scott will join 7 other Child Caring Institutions (CCI) leaders and executives who will meet throughout the first part of this year to develop the State's goals. The establishment of this committee is in response to The Federal Government's emphasis on achieving permanence for children who are in the State's Foster Care System.

The performance-based model will reward organizations that successfully place children in permanent homes with family members or in adoptive homes or Independent Living Programs. These organizations will be expected to meet specific outcomes while the children are in their residential program and when they step down from their facilities. If the outcomes are not achieved, the responsible organization may face penalties, while successful outcomes will result in additional revenues.

According to Merritt, "The State is also implementing a Permanency Based Initiative that will provide opportunities for organizations such as KidsPeace to continue working with children we have treated after their discharge. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure a smoother continuum of care under our supervision with the goal of achieving permanency. Organizations that decide to be a part of this initiative will be compensated according to how well they met the Performance Based Goals, which are currently being developed."

Merritt, who has directed the KidsPeace facility since it opened in 2004 feels honored to have been selected to participate on this committee. "It is very exciting to be involved in this new focus from the beginning," he said. "Georgia is totally committed to this project."

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