2021 Georgia Code
Title 49 - Social Services
Chapter 3 - County and District Departments, Boards, and Directors of Family and Children Services
§ 49-3-6. Functions of County Department

Universal Citation: GA Code § 49-3-6 (2021)
  1. The primary purpose of county departments shall be to protect children. To achieve this primary purpose, the county departments shall, in accordance with rules and regulations of the Division of Family and Children Services of the department:
    1. Investigate reports of abuse or neglect;
    2. Assess, promote, and support the safety of a child in a safe and stable family or other appropriate placement in response to allegations of abuse or neglect;
    3. Work cooperatively with law enforcement regarding reports that include criminal conduct allegations;
    4. In collaboration with the family treatment court division planning group, if one exists, establish a written protocol to assess cases involving substantiated reports of abuse or neglect for possible referral to a family treatment court division. Such protocol shall be consistent with the Council of Accountability Courts of Georgia's certification requirements and include sufficient criteria to determine the need for substance abuse treatment; and
    5. Without compromising child safety, coordinate services to achieve and maintain permanency on behalf of the child, strengthen the family, and provide prevention, intervention, and treatment services pursuant to this title.
  2. In addition to the purpose in subsection (a) of this Code section, and subject to the rules and regulations of the Board of Human Services, the county department shall be charged with the administration of all forms of public assistance in the county, including home relief; indoor and outdoor care for those in need; temporary assistance for needy families; old-age assistance; aid to the blind and otherwise disabled; the care and treatment of dependent and neglected children; and such other welfare activities as shall be delegated to it by the Division of Family and Children Services of the department or by the county commissioners.

(Ga. L. 1937, p. 355, § 13; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1302, § 14; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1021, § 7; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, §§ 2-2, 2-3/HB 228; Ga. L. 2015, p. 422, § 5-100/HB 310; Ga. L. 2015, p. 552, § 3/SB 138; Ga. L. 2017, p. 585, § 1-5/SB 174.)

The 2015 amendments. The first 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, inserted "juvenile" preceding "probation officer" in the last sentence of the previously existing provisions of this Code section. The second 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, rewrote this Code section. See Code Commission note regarding the effect of these amendments.

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in subsection (a), substituted "or" for "and" in paragraph (a)(1), deleted "and" at the end of paragraph (a)(3), added paragraph (a)(4), and redesignated former paragraph (a)(4) as present paragraph (a)(5).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2015, the amendment to this Code section by Ga. L. 2015, p. 422, § 5-100/HB 310, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2015, p. 552, § 3/SB 138, due to irreconcilable conflict.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1997, p. 1021, § 10, not codified by the General Assembly, provides for severability.

Law reviews.

- For article commenting on the 1997 amendment of this Code section, see 14 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 284 (1997). For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 231 (2015). For article on the 2017 amendment of this Code section, see 34 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 115 (2017).


Cited in In re R.L.M., 171 Ga. App. 940, 321 S.E.2d 435 (1984); Ga. Dep't of Human Servs. v. Steiner, 303 Ga. 890, 815 S.E.2d 883 (2018).


Heating Energy Assistance Team funds.

- Department of Human Resources may utilize the local departments of family and children services to distribute Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT) funds to needy persons as contemplated by the HEAT program. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-8.

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