Office of the Child Attorney

About the department
The mission of the Office of the Child Attorney is to zealously and effectively advocate for the legal rights and protections of child clients alleged to be abused and/or neglected throughout the entire deprivation process in Fulton County’s Juvenile Court.

Key Performance Indicators

This measure tracks the average number of cases in the Office of the Child Attorney open during each quarter. Each case represents a court proceeding involving child abuse or neglect. Children lack the capacity to speak for themselves in court proceedings and need someone else to speak and act on their behalf. The Office of the Child Attorney exists to ensure that children have access to adequate and effective child advocate attorneys.

Permanency is defined as a legal, permanent family living arrangement. This includes reunification with the birth family, living with relatives, guardianship, or adoption for children removed from their home and placed in foster care. When children must be removed from their families to ensure their safety, permanency planning efforts focus on returning them home as soon as is safely possible or placing them with another legally permanent family, which may include relatives, adoptive families who obtain legal custody, or guardians. This measure tracks the percentage cases in which the child achieves permanency within two years of the initiation of the case. A case is not considered closed by the Office of the Child Attorney until permanency is achieved.

We are measuring the percentage of average monthly dependency cases that were closed as a result of establishing permanency for the child client. Dependency cases are filed in the Juvenile Court alleging abuse and/or neglect of a child. For the purpose of this measurement, cases achieve permanency when a child is released from the legal custody of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) because he/she is returned to his/her family, a legal custodian, a guardian or a new family through adoption. For the purpose of this measurement, each child client is counted as a separate case even though sibling groups usually share the same court file number.

Judges of the courts that make up the Fulton County Justice System are able to observe the attorneys representing the Office of the Child Attorney as they advocate for the children they serve. The opinions of the judges is one good measure of how well the Office is performing it duties. The Office of Child Attorney began surveying judges in 2019 and will report the results on this page on a quarterly basis throughout the year.
This KPI measures the overall satisfaction of the Juvenile Court bench with the performance of the child attorneys who staff our office.