On Friday, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and the Mexican Consulate renewed their memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at improving child welfare outcomes.
From the press release:
Signed during a ceremony at the consulate offices in DeKalb County, the MOU represents a strong spirit of cooperation to better serve Mexican children in the custody of DFCS and U.S. children whose parents are Mexican citizens. It promotes the safe and culturally appropriate treatment of a child while ensuring emotional well-being and minimizing trauma.
“Our mission is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of every child in our care. The friendship and support of the consulate is incredibly important in this regard. They help us better understand our diverse communities and help liaise with our child welfare agency counterparts in Mexico. Together, we make sure that every child served by the division is treated respectfully, expediently and in a manner that makes them feel safe. We’re proud of this partnership and thank Consul General Javier Díaz de León for his leadership,” said DFCS Division Director Tom Rawlings.
Specific areas of cooperation include helping connect children with family in either country, attain government documentation such as birth certificates and medical records, and ensuring the safe return of Mexican minors when appropriate. The MOU also outlines areas of proactive collaboration such as joint community outreach activities, ongoing communication between the two agencies and training of DFCS and consular personnel on services provided by each agency.
“The consulate is happy to continue its friendships and working relationship with DFCS and the Georgia Department of Human Services. We have a commitment to support children of Mexican and Mexican-American origin in their family case proceedings and guarantee that the best interests of these children are placed at the forefront of decision making. Renewing vows will allow this partnership to continue to grow, which, in turn, will translate into improved case-handling and outcomes for many families,” said Consul General Díaz de León.