Special to the Journal
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. On Monday, April 8, all DCH staff members are being encouraged to wear blue to show that they stand up for Georgia’s children and against child abuse.
“With the many children we serve through PeachCare for Kids,® the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) and our Medicaid populations, including foster children, we are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of child abuse,” said DCH Commissioner David A. Cook. “Children are among our most vulnerable populations and they deserve to grow up in a safe environment.”
More than 201,000 children through age 17 are enrolled in PeachCare for Kids and another 909,000 are served by Medicaid. Additionally, there are nearly 117,000 children of state employees, teachers, school personnel and retirees covered under the State Health Benefit Plan.
In addition to wearing blue, DCH is also taking policy steps to help prevent and treat children who are victims of child abuse or neglect. As part of DCH’s work to move approximately 11,000 foster children into a care management organization (CMO), the department is asking provider networks to demonstrate an ability to identify, assess and treat children who were victims of child abuse or neglect. Moving foster children into a CMO will also result in better, more coordinated and consistent care.
Commissioner Cook serves on the Georgia Children’s Cabinet, which coordinates policies and resources to improve outcomes for children and families. The Cabinet provides unique leadership on child welfare and juvenile justice issues in Georgia by identifying strategic state priorities and the necessary implementation initiatives..
Through effective planning, purchasing and oversight, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) provides access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Georgians, including some of the state’s uninsured and most vulnerable populations.
DCH is responsible for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids,® the State Health Benefit Plan, Healthcare Facility Regulation and Health Information Technology in Georgia.
David A. Cook serves as Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health.