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About OCA

MISSION

To protect the children of the State of Georgia and to assist and restore the security of children whose well-being is threatened by providing independent oversight of persons, organizations, and agencies responsible for providing services to or caring for children who are victims of child abuse and neglect or whose domestic situation requires intervention by the state.  O.C.G.A. § 15-11-740 (b)

Our Mission includes identifying patterns of treatment and service for children and making recommendations for necessary policy implications, legislative changes and systemic improvements.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Independent Oversight

Independent oversight of child welfare agencies of cases in which DFCS has had involvement in the last 5 years.

Independent Oversight is not limited to DFCS but is limited to cases that involve a child who has received protective services from DFCS, for whom DFCS has an open case file, or who has been, or whose siblings, parents, or other caretakers have been, the subject of a report to DFCS within the previous five years. O.C.G.A. § 15-11-741(3)

OCA Investigators receive and investigate all incoming complaints and seek the resolution or referral of complaints made by or on behalf of children concerning any act, omission to act, practice, policy, or procedure of an agency or any contractor or agent thereof that may adversely affect the health, safety, or welfare of the children.  O.C.G.A. § 15-11-743

The OCA Director oversees the complaint process to ensure sound resolution and policy compliance, and identify needed systemic change.

The Protocol (f/k/a The Child Abuse Protocol) - O.C.G.A. §19-15-2

OCA maintains an updated statewide Model Protocol (f/k/a Child Abuse Protocol) to assist Protocol Committees in develping or updating their local Protocols. 

Each County is required by law to establish a Protocol  for the investigation and prosecution of alleged cases of child abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.  The chief superior court judge of the circuit in which the county is located establishes the Protocol Committee which develops the local Protocol.

OCA is available to provide training to Protocol Committee members on developing or updating their local Protocol, preparing the annual report and complying with other mandated duties.

The 2014 statewide Model Protocol can be found on the website under the Protocols and Resources tab.

Guardian ad Litem Training

OCA is responsible for administering or approving guardian ad litem training which is required before a person can be appointed as a guardian ad litem in dependency cases in Juvenile Court. OCGA § 15-11-104(f)

(Guardian Ad Litem training opportunities can be found on the website under the Training tab.)