Barton Child Law and Policy Center Newsletter
Dear Child Advocates, this update contains:
Georgia Capitol Update
Bills of Interest to Child Advocates
Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy January 24
Follow Us on Twitter!
Georgia Capitol Update

Last week the General Assembly convened for the 2013 Legislative Session, and was in session for four legislative days.  Highlights of the week of January 14-18 include:

  • The House of Representatives replaced the Children and Youth Committee with a Juvenile Justice Committee, and appointed Representative Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold) as its chair. 
  • The Governor gave his State of the State address on Thursday, January 17th.  He revealed major elements of his budget plan, including the allocation of $5 million to create an incentive funding program for community-based alternatives to juvenile detention for low-risk juvenile offenders.
  • The Governor released his proposed budgets both for the Amended Fiscal Year 2013, which we are halfway through, and for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins July 1.

This week the General Assembly will be in adjournment, and will be holding joint hearings on the Governor's proposed budgets.  Some budget presentations of particular interest to child advocates include:

  • The Department of Juvenile Justice budget presentation will be Wednesday, January 23, 2013 from 10:30-11am in room 341 of the Capitol.
  • The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities budget presentation will be Wednesday, January 23, 2013 from 2:15-3pm in room 341 of the Capitol.
  • The Department of Human Services budget presentation will be Thursday, January 24, 2013 from 9:30-10:15am in room 341 of the Capitol.   

Please note that information on meetings and legislative schedule is current as of Monday, January 21, 2013.  Hearing times change frequently during the session, so you may want to check the Georgia General Assembly or other organizations' web sites for the any changes. 


Bills of Interest to Child Advocates


HB 21, was introduced by Representative Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) on January 15, 2013. This bill would add a new code section to O.C.G.A. Title 19 to provide for agreements for ongoing contact between birth relatives and adoptive families. The child would be a party to the agreement, and if 14 years of age or older, would have to consent. In order to be enforceable, the agreement would have to be filed with the court with 30 days of the filing of the adoption petition.  HB 21 has been assigned to the House Juvenile Justice Committee.    


HB 46 was introduced by Representative Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) on January 15, 2013.  This bill would amend O.C.G.A. Title 20, Chapter 1A to require child protective services records to be checked for all directors and employees of day care centers. Anyone with an unsatisfactory report would not be permitted to work at a day care center. HB 46 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.   


HR 2 was introduced by Representative Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) on January 16, 2013.  This is a resolution to urge Congress to increase penalties for human trafficking, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children. HR 2 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.     


SR 10 was introduced by Senator Donzella James (D-Atlanta) on January 15, 2013.  This is a resolution to urge Congress to require children to have identification to board domestic flights in order to protect children from being trafficked between states.  SR 10 has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.     


Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy to Be Held Thursday, January 24, 2013   

Comparative Approaches to Child Welfare


On Thursday, January 24, the Honorable Tom Rawlings, former state Child Advocate and judge of the Juvenile Courts of the Middle Judicial District, will discuss comparative approaches to child welfare policies and service delivery systems in Latin America and the U.S. Tom has recently returned from a three-year appointment as the director of a nonprofit serving victims of child abuse and their families in Guatemala.  Drawing upon his extensive domestic and international experiences as a lawyer and policy advocate, Tom will provide a critical analysis of the attributes of the U.S. and Latin American approaches to handling child abuse cases.     
To register for this event, click here

Follow us on Twitter


The Barton Center is twittering information relevant to child advocacy at the Capitol.  Follow us  at @bartoncenter at to get up-to-the-minute information on topics such as:

  • Times, dates, and locations of advocacy meetings and legislative hearings;
  • Status of juvenile court-related legislation;
  • Action alerts for important pro-child initiatives; and
  • News and research on best practices for children's law.

Begin following us by clicking on the Twitter icon to the right!  Follow us on Twitter 


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