House Committee Wants To Consolidate Inspections For State Childcare Providers

Say you want to help care for children who’ve been placed in state care.

First you’d have to undergo a license inspection from the state Department of Human Services, along with some follow up inspections.As heard on the radio

There’s also a federal licensing process that requires its own inspection.

Then you’d likely have another inspection from one of the other state agencies who help oversee the Georgia’s child welfare system, like the state Division of Family and Children Services or the state Department Juvenile Justice. Those agencies have their own inspections to make sure contractors are in compliance with their standards, along with their own follow up inspections.

“From an outside perspective looking in, we may not have all the answers, but it just appears there are a lot of people going out to kind of do the same thing, and there may be a way to combine some of these efforts,” said Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville).

Tanner sits on House committee that’s looking to simplify the standards for people trying to become child care providers and for those who already are.

In its recommendations presented Monday, the committee wants the half dozen or so state agencies that oversee the state’s child care system to get better at sharing data, consolidate background checks and publish reviews in a single location, among other things.

But primarily, the committee wants to combine annual licensing and contracting inspections into one review done on behalf of all the agencies.

Carol Winstad, who heads the Department of Human Service’s Office of Residential Childcare, cautioned some specialty oversight could be lost.

“It’s like, you know, having your heart specialist and your orthopedic doctor send you to one doctor to do both and just teach them what to look for,” she told the committee.

The House committee will present its recommendations to the speaker of the house in the coming weeks.