Georgia has a new leader in charge of advocating for the rights of children and youth in the child welfare system and the services they are entitled to.
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) swore in attorney Jerry Bruce as Georgia’s child advocate on June 15 to replace Rachel Davidson, who resigned in April. With 26 years in child welfare and juvenile justice under his belt, Bruce came recommended by a three-person nominating committee.
Since 2015, Bruce directed Georgia’s court improvement program and served as program attorney for the Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children. He also has experience as a juvenile court judge and as a special assistant attorney general for the Department of Family and Children Services in rural north Georgia.
He earned his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1993 and a master’s in English literature from Louisiana State in 1990.
The Office of the Child Advocate provides independent oversight of the people, organizations and agencies responsible for providing services to or caring for children who are victims of child abuse and neglect or whose domestic situation requires intervention by the state. The office also seeks out patterns of treatment and service for children and recommends policy, legislative and systemic changes. It also investigates complaints about child maltreatment and provides guardian ad litem training.