State Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton is one of 25 legislators selected for the National Conference of State Legislatures inaugural Child Welfare Fellows Program.
The year-long program supports state legislators across the country and legislative staff who are experienced, or emerging leaders on child welfare issues, according to a written statement from the Georgia House of Representatives.
“It is a great honor to be named to the inaugural class of NCSL’s Child Welfare Fellows Program,” Ballinger said in a statement. “This program will bring together a diverse group leaders from all over the nation to share new ideas and workable legislative solutions to child welfare-related issues. I look forward to working alongside others who are passionate about improving outcomes for children, as well as sharing my experiences as an advocate for Georgia’s children with my fellow program members.”
The Child Welfare Fellows Program will focus on child welfare structure and financing; data on child maltreatment, foster care and adoption; child welfare workforce challenges; prevention and early intervention; family preservation and reunification; trauma-informed services; supporting foster parents and older youth transitioning to adulthood; new opportunities through the recently enacted federal Family First Prevention Services Act; and Native American and African-American children in care.
Child Welfare Fellows will participate in meetings and webinars. The first in-person meeting, which will be held in Denver from July 11-13, to give program participants an opportunity to meet and learn about new federal legislation, the foster care system and other child welfare issues.