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Family & Children Services

The Habersham County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) is a division of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Its mission is to strengthen families – supporting their self-sufficiency and helping them protect their vulnerable children and adults by being a resource to their families, not a substitute.

DFCS investigates child abuse; finds foster homes for abused and neglected children; helps low income, out-of-work parents get back on their feet; assists with childcare costs for low income parents who are working or in job training; and provides numerous support services and innovative programs to help troubled families.

Services Provided by Habersham DFCS

Adoption Services
The adoption unit is now a part of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). Adoption is a lifelong commitment, and for this reason, the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) provides adoption services that span a child’s life. These include helping each child find a loving family, as well as providing a host of support services for the children and their families after an adoption takes place.

Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Protection Services investigates reports of child abuse or neglect and provides services to protect the child and strengthen the family. Every child needs to be treasured, protected and nurtured. Unfortunately, some parents can't -- or won't -- care for their children. When they neglect or abuse them, someone must step in to ensure the children's safety. That's the job of DFCS, along with the police and the courts.

Emergency Food Assistance
This is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low income persons in Georgia, including the elderly, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.

Energy Assistance
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) pays for some home heating and cooling costs for low-income eligible families, particularly in emergencies. The program has three components:
  • Energy Crisis Intervention: Provided to low income households as a result of certain severe and unusual weather-related conditions.
  • Regular Home Energy Assistance: Provides financial assistance to households meeting certain income and other requirements.
  • Weatherization Element: Provides low-cost home energy conservation improvements to eligible households.
Food Stamps
The Georgia Food Stamp program provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. A household may be one person living alone, a family, or several, unrelated individuals living together who routinely purchase and prepare meals together. Anyone may apply for food stamp benefits. The program helps households that have limited income and resources.

For elderly or disabled individuals or individuals experiencing problems coming to the office, the interview may be done by a pre-arranged home visit, through the mail or by telephone. Elderly/disabled households may qualify for benefits regardless of their amount of gross income.

Foster Care
Foster care is a state program that provides temporary substitute homes for children whose families cannot provide a safe and nurturing environment for them. Interested in volunteering as a foster parent? Contact the foster care and adoption recruitment intake line at 877-210-KIDS.

The Department of Community Health is the lead planning agency for all health issues in the state such as health care policy, purchasing and regulation. However, DFCS assistns the needy with information on the Right From the Start Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs.

The Right from the Start Medicaid program provides Medicaid coverage for eligible children under the age of 19, pregnant women and women who have breast or cervical cancer including precancerous conditions of the breast and cervix. RSM Outreach Project works closely with the PeachCare for Kids program, and makes referrals to the Georgia Partnership for Caring Foundation for those who are not eligible for Medicaid.

PeachCare for Kids is a Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) sponsored program that provides comprehensive health care to children through the age of 18 who do not qualify for Medicaid and live in households with incomes at or below 235 percent of the federal poverty level.

Refugee Resettlement
The Refugee Resettlement Program is a federally-funded program that provides employment, health screening, medical, cash, and social services assistance to refugees. The primary Goal of Georgia’s Refugee Resettlement Program is to encourage effective resettlement and economic self-sufficiency of refugees within the shortest possible period after entrance to Georgia. Effective resettlement means refugees are self-reliant in utilizing existing community resources to meet their basic needs.

Subsidized Child Care
The State of Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program helps Georgia families pay for early childhood and school age care programs.

Subsidized care is available for children from age birth to age 13, or up to age 18 if the child has special needs. CAPS is available in all of Georgia’s 159 counties.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), commonly known as welfare, is the monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18.

DFCS Local Board

The local DFCS office is overseen and assisted by the Habersham County DFCS Board. The role of local County DFCS Boards is a combination of advocacy, resource development, political activism, staff relations, customer service, and administrative functions.

When the DFCS Boards were first created, local county boards had limited authority over county operations. That has changed over the past several decades to more of a supportive role. The Board’s primary role is to be the link between the agency and the community.

CLICK HERE for more information on the local DFC board.

Contact Information

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 160, Clarkesville, GA 30523-0160
Location: 1056 Grant St., Clarkesville, GA 30523

Phone: 706-754-2148 Fax: 706-754-9670

Renota Free, Director

Call 706-754-2148 to report child abuse and neglect during office hours.
Call 855-GA-CHILD (855-422-4453) 5pm-8am weekdays, weekends and state holidays.


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