Tom Rawlings


Leading Child Welfare Systems Past the Worst Tragedies

How do you build and maintain an effective child protection system when faced with the challenge of a high-profile child death? While leaders often react by making immediate changes and promising reform, a calm, measured approach is much more effective.


Georgia House Approves Pay Raise for Relative Caregivers

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a budget package this week that includes a $1 per day pay raise for relatives caring for youth who have been removed from the homes of their parents.


Short-Changed Relative Caregivers Find Champion in Georgia Lawmaker

Georgia State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D) plans to push for increased payments to relatives who care for foster children during a budget hearing Monday. Oliver will ask her colleagues on the House appropriations subcommittee for human services to commit roughly $2.68 million annually for unlicensed relative caregivers who receive significantly less from the state than licensed foster parents.


Government is Not the Best Responder to Family Crisis. Family is.

As the last of six children growing up in a small town, an “oops” baby born to older parents, I was raised by a crowd. My sisters, already in high school when I was born, were my second and third mothers.


With Foster Care Numbers at a 15-Year High, Georgia Looks to Relatives

Tom Rawlings (center), director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services. The agency has a goal of soon placing half of foster youth with relatives. Photo courtesy of DFCS.
When Tom Rawlings took over as director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in July, he knew the agency was experiencing turbulence.