Back in the early 1990s, conditions for children and families in Georgia were among the worst in the nation. When the Annie E. Casey Foundation released its inaugural national KIDS COUNT report in 1990 to track the status of children in the United States, Georgia placed 48th out of 50 states.
The private and public sectors were busy working to improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, but they weren’t working together.
Gov. Zell Miller responded to the dismal ranking by establishing a two-year pilot initiative in 1991 designed to coordinate services for the educational, social, economic, and physical well-being of Georgia’s youngest, most vulnerable citizens.
He called the initiative Georgia Family Connection.
The governor called for the departments of Education, Human Resources and Medical Assistance to work together to develop a community-based collaborative approach to increase school success, and reduce teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency in Georgia.
Ben Hill County was one of the first counties in Georgia to embrace the Family Connection concept. For more than 25 years, Ben Hill County Family Connection has worked to bring all sectors of the community together to support children and families.