2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 11 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
ARTICLE 5 - CHILD ADVOCATE FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
§ 15-11-172 - Office of the Child Advocate; criteria for appointment; authority; independence

O.C.G.A. 15-11-172 (2010)
15-11-172. Office of the Child Advocate; criteria for appointment; authority; independence


(a) There is created the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children. The Governor, by executive order, shall create a nominating committee which shall consider nominees for the position of the advocate and shall make a recommendation to the Governor. Such person shall have knowledge of the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, and the legal system and shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office as set forth in this article.

(b) The advocate shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of at least three names submitted by the nominating committee for a term of three years and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified and may be reappointed. The salary of the advocate shall not be less than $60,000.00 per year, shall be fixed by the Governor, and shall come from funds appropriated for the purposes of the advocate.

(c) The Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children shall be assigned to the Office of Planning and Budget for administrative purposes only, as described in Code Section 50-4-3.

(d) The advocate may appoint such staff as may be deemed necessary to effectively fulfill the purposes of this article, within the limitations of the funds available for the purposes of the advocate. The duties of the staff may include the duties and powers of the advocate if performed under the direction of the advocate. The advocate and his or her staff shall receive such reimbursement for travel and other expenses as is normally allowed to state employees, from funds appropriated for the purposes of the advocate.

(e) The advocate shall have the authority to contract with experts in fields including but not limited to medicine, psychology, education, child development, juvenile justice, mental health, and child welfare, as needed to support the work of the advocate, utilizing funds appropriated for the purposes of the advocate.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, the advocate shall act independently of any state official, department, or agency in the performance of his or her duties.

(g) The advocate or his or her designee shall be an ex officio member of the State-wide Child Abuse Prevention Panel.

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