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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

First Lady Mary Perdue Announces Phase Two for EMBRACE-Georgia's Foster Families

Thursday, July 13, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – First Lady Mary Perdue announced today the launch of phase two for EMBRACE–Georgia’s Foster Families, incorporated as the Foster Foundation of Georgia. During phase two, the Children and Youth Coordinating Council (CYCC) will begin accepting grant applications for five pilot projects focused on recruitment, preparation and support of foster families in Colquitt, DeKalb, Fulton, Mitchell and Thomas Counties.

EMBRACE is a statewide organization that addresses the critical need for additional qualified foster families and establishes new standards and practices of excellence in foster care. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, EMBRACE is a public-private partnership that evolved from the work of the First Lady’s Children’s Cabinet, the Department of Human Resources and community stakeholders and civic leaders. EMBRACE will focus on the recruitment, preparation and support of DFCS foster families, enabling DFCS staff to focus on their core responsibilities for child placement, case management and permanency planning.

"EMBRACE will be a lasting structure that over time will greatly strengthen Georgia’s foster care network and improve how we care for our children," said First Lady Mary Perdue. "I want to encourage each Georgia citizen to learn about the fostering needs in their community, and help us meet our obligations to Georgia’s children."

The Foster Family Foundation of Georgia was launched last year during the First Lady’s Third Summit on Our Children. Phase one laid the groundwork for the organization and allowed the foundation to define values and goals,

The goals of EMBRACE are to increase the number of foster parents throughout the state and support these families through both formal and informal support networks. EMBRACE will ensure that foster parents are both informed and supported members of the foster care team by ensuring that DFCS policies support and enhance their efforts.

The five pilot projects will kick-off in early September. Each pilot project is designed to be a test model for recruiting, preparing and supporting foster families who accept DFCS placement of teens and sibling groups of three or more children.

Groups or organizations interested in facilitating one the pilot programs can apply to receive grant money through CYCC by contacting Susan Atkins at or Additional information can be found at Applications are due by August 14, 2006.