Press Releases

Georgia Invests in Social-Emotional Learning with Funding for Second Step Program

The state Prevention and Community Support section invites proposals for the 2020-2021 school year



Shauna McBride, PR and Communications Director / 206-612-8718

M’Bilia Meekers, Senior Public Relations Specialist / 206-438-6541

SEATTLE—The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) – Prevention and Community Support (PCS) section has released a call for proposals for schools and nonprofit after-school program providers to receive funding for the implementation of Committee for Children’s three research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculums, including Second Step, the Bullying Prevention Unit and the Child Protection Unit, for the 2020-2021 school year.

Offering this grant for the sixth consecutive year, the state office has begun to see significant improvements in the rates of child maltreatment reports and the number of teachers trained not only to recognize the signs of abuse and report appropriately, but also to help children build social-emotional and personal safety skills that will serve them throughout their childhood and adolescence.

Previously awarded districts like Atlanta Public Schools who implements the Second Step program K-8 in all schools, have seen additional improvements. “Social-emotional learning is shaping the culture of Atlanta Public Schools by providing students and staff with tools to build positive relationships both in and out of the classroom,” says Dr. Rose Prejean-Harris, Atlanta Public Schools’ Director of SEL. “As a district, we are intentional about our actions and our words while providing students and staff with opportunities to practice and showcase problem-solving skills, self-awareness, and social awareness that lead to better communication and relationships.”

Other past recipients of the funding, from small rural districts to large urban and suburban districts have connected to important initiatives that support behavior and academic success as well. “The Georgia Department of Education supports the ongoing efforts of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services to help schools improve school climate so that students can go to schools that are supportive, nurturing, safe, and secure,” says Dr. Garry W. McGiboney, Deputy Superintendent. “Second Step is a powerful framework that improves the conditions for learning and helps students develop essential social-emotional skills. The curriculum works extremely well with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to build a sustainable network of practices, procedures, interventions, and supports that benefit all children.”

“All children need SEL,” adds Jennifer Sanderlin, Senior Education Partnerships Manager at Committee for Children, who helped lead the development of this initiative. “Our hope is that the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services providing another round of this funding will keep the positive momentum going and create a domino effect of excellent outcomes for Georgia kids, schools, districts, and communities.”

Committee for Children and the Georgia Department of Families and Children Services invite all interested and eligible parties to submit a statement of need by the deadline of Monday, February 10, 2020.

About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is on a mission to ensure that children everywhere can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. Best known for our innovative social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula that blend research and rigor with intuitive program design, we empower children and their adults with skills that help them realize their goals in the classroom and throughout their lives. Since 1979, we’ve been connecting experts in the field to share experiences and advance the cause of educating the whole child. A force in advocacy, we’re helping pass policies and legislation that place importance on creating safe and supportive learning environments. Today, our social-emotional learning and child safety programs reach more than 15 million children in over 70 countries worldwide. By lifting up children today, we’re helping them create a safe and positive society for the future.

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About the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services’ mission is to strengthen Georgia by providing individuals and families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence and protect Georgia’s vulnerable children. It investigates reports of child abuse; finds foster and adoptive homes for abused and neglected children; issues SNAP, Medicaid and TANF; helps out-of-work parents get back on their feet; and provides numerous support services and innovative programs to help families in need.

About Georgia Prevention and Community Support

The Prevention and Community Support Section (PCS) works within the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and in partnership with community-based and statewide organizations to build strong families and reduce child maltreatment through collaborative partnerships, funding and promoting evidence-based programs and services. Using state and federal funding streams, PCS supports the use of evidence-based and evidence-informed practices and programs to improve outcomes for children and families. PCS also functions as the Children’s Trust Fund entity for the state of Georgia.