Atlanta, GA – Voices for Georgia’s Children, along with the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network, presented a special report entitled “The Whole Child Primer” to a joint hearing of the House Juvenile Justice, House Health and Human Services, and House Education committees on Wednesday, February 6th at 8:30 a.m. The Primer outlines the areas that affect Georgia’s children the most and how policies set by the state legislature can affect a child’s future.

Watch the Presentation Here

Did you know:

  • More than 2.5 million children live in the state of Georgia.
  • Nearly a quarter of those children lived at or below the federal poverty level in 2016 ($24,300 per year for a family of four).
  • More than a third lived in single-parent households.

“It is imperative that, when developing policy concerning our children, policymakers must take the whole child into account,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “We cannot expect that a child will receive a high-quality education if that child is absent from school due to health reasons. We must look at a variety of issues that our children are struggling with to ensure they can thrive and are prepared to be productive and responsible adults.”

“The Whole Child Primer” examines seven of the most common issues facing our children and their ability to thrive, including their physical and mental health; protection and safety; school discipline and juvenile justice; early childhood, care and learning; and education (both in school, afterschool and during the summer). The Primer takes a look at the importance of the 2020 census and the implications and impact not counting each of our kids will have on the state of Georgia, including the potential loss of millions of dollars in federal funding. Additionally, “The Whole Child Primer” takes a look at what the state of Georgia is currently doing in each area for our kids, and includes specific recommendations that policymakers, organizations and agencies, as well as the community at-large can take to ensure our children’s well-being is improving.

“We believe understanding that child policy should be approached from the ‘whole child’ perspective, and within the context of those adults who care for them, will improve the well-being of our state’s children,” said Fener Sitkoff.

“The Whole Child Primer” can be downloaded at

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