Program Areas | Families and Communities

Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF): Strategic Planning, Systems Design, and Evaluation

The Georgia Governor's Office for Children and Families (GOCF), a new office formed from the merger of two agencies, engaged Metis Associates in January 2008 for help with strategic planning, systems design, and the subsequent evaluation of its work. Metis proposed a three-phase project: development of a strategy to provide grant funding to community collaboratives that further the GOCF's continuum-of-care model; evaluation of the resulting programs; and development of a long-term, statewide plan to extend this strategy into new geographic areas.

Metis then helped the GOCF to launch its initial grant program, culminating with the office awarding grants to five collaboratives. The GOCF distributed more than $1.5 million in first-year grants to support these projects, which will serve more than 4,000 children and families in 15 counties—about 10 percent of the state. The funded activities span a broad range of preventive services, from the use of public health nurses to educate families with young children, to mentoring programs, to counseling programs for fathers who live apart from their children. If successful, the groups will receive funding for two successive years. During the second phase, Metis will evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy with regard to health, education, and juvenile-justice indicators. In the third phase, it will begin to design a multiyear plan for moving the GOCF even further toward its goals, ensuring a proper funding mix, organizational structure, data-collection system, and long-term evaluation plan.

"Metis Associates has become a part of our team by inspiring our new agency with their expertise, commitment to excellence and ingenuity.  Their evaluation work and development of our online data reporting system is working to increase communication and help us achieve our strategic outcomes in the communities we serve.  We look forward to our continued partnership with Metis Associates."
- Jen Bennecke
   Executive Director, Governor's Office for Children and Families