DFACS honored for protecting kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DFACS honored for protecting kids

April 13, 2006

Valdosta - Tracy Nelson has one of the most important jobs in the world. "My primary mission is to serve and protect children," said Nelson.

She's a caseworker at the Lowndes County Department of Family and Children Services, responsible for investigating reports of child abuse or neglect, and removing kids from dangerous situations. It's a challenging job.  "I still find it hard to investigate sexual abuse cases," said Nelson.

But one that in the end, couldn't be more rewarding. "It's very rewarding to get a child out of a situation that he or she may not can get themselves out of," said Nelson.

It's also rewarding when people take note of her hard work, and that's just what happened Thursday. Foster parents in Lowndes County took time to say 'thank you' to the men and women behind child abuse prevention. "We bring them out here and have a big picnic for them, we also have gifts for them and its just a time for them to get away from the office for two hours and say thank you," said Deshai Richardson.

Since July of 2005, Lowndes County DFACS has investigated 921 cases of child abuse or neglect, and now have 316 kids in foster care. But its not just kids in danger they're protecting.  "I see this as my own children being safe," said Deshai.

"They take care of every single child in Lowndes County, whether they be foster, adoptive, or with their biological parents, they represent the children and make sure they have everything they need," said Donald Richardson.

And even though its just a small token of appreciation, the thanks given is just the validation these employees need to stay focused on the mission at hand.

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