Speaking at an event hosted by the nonprofit Speedway Children’s Charities at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, the governor said amendments to laws protecting children and an increased headcount at the state Department of Family and Children’s Services were positive steps forward.
“With the help of the general assembly, we have now added about 275 new caseworkers this year, which means more eyes, ears and feet on ground to be able to respond to reports of suspicious circumstances quickly,” Deal said. “We’ve also expanded the law in this state with regard to the reporting of cases, because we want to make sure when those reports are received, we have adequate personnel and resources to be able to thoroughly investigate each case.”
Organizations like the event’s host help make children’s lives better and keep them safer, he said to about 200 attendees, and encouraged them to be proactive in their support.
“The more children that can grow up in a safe, healthy environment and can get an education, the better off your community and our entire state will be,” Deal said.
To date, the Atlanta chapter of the 20-year-old nonprofit has distributed about $3 million to children’s charities throughout metro Atlanta and Georgia.
“Our mission is to care for children’s educational, financial, social and medical needs in order to help them lead productive lives,” Executive Director Scott Fillmore said, “and we’re really helping kids in our community, which is an important point to drive home.”
Its beneficiaries include the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home in south Fulton, a residence for at-risk children, Union City’s Southwest Christian Care, a respite center for special-needs children, and the YMCA on Campbellton Road in southwest Atlanta.