Committee formed to study child welfare in wake of Gwinnett case

Two Gwinnett legislators will take part in the Child Welfare Reform Council, created in the wake of the deaths of several children, including Lawrenceville girl Emani Moss, 10, who starved to death last year.

Gov. Nathan Deal named the council members Wednesday who are tasked with improvements with the child welfare system.

“With this council now in place, it is our hope to uncover new approaches that will strengthen our child welfare system and ensure that Georgia’s children are given the best shot at a good life,” Deal said. “These appointees have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of children, and I feel confident that together they will produce meaningful and thoughtful reform recommendations.”

The two local officials appointed to the board are Rep. Valerie Clark, the Lawrenceville Republican who formerly served as Central Gwinnett High School principal, and Sen. Fran Millar, who represents Peachtree Corners and previously served on a foster care reform study committee.

Other board members include Georgia’s child advocate, Ashley Willcott, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta President Donna Hyland, United Methodist Children’s Home CEO Bob Bruder-Mattson, Juvenile Court judges in Clayton and Douglas counties, and others.

The council is expected to complete a review of the Division of Family and Children Services by the end of the year and advise the governor on possible executive reforms and legislative proposals.