The Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth has served families in the Rome area since 1989. The agency enables children, youth, and their families to reach their fullest potential through advocacy, collaboration with other agencies, and a sense of awareness of individual importance.
The agency has been recognized this year as the Rome Floyd Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year. Executive Director LaDonna Collins believes the honor recognizes the commission’s emphasis on collaboration across the community on behalf of children and families. “We’re not a direct care service,” Collins said. “We actually work with the different community providers that work with children.”
Based in the Restoration Rome facility at 1400 Crane Street, the commission is a statewide Georgia Family Connection organization member. Locally, the commission works closely with Restoration Rome, The Exchange Club Family Resource Center, Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Georgia, South Rome Early Learning Center, Communities in Schools, the Open Door Home, Sexual Assault Center, A Teen’s Choice, and the Northwest Georgia Center for Independent Living. Programming such as Books, Barbers & Beauticians, Get Pumped for Kids with Harbin Clinic, and the Teen Maze will get extra attention this year and beyond.
The commission celebrates self-worth, dignity, and the rights of all children and puts a tremendous value on the importance of the family unit. Programming focuses on improving school success for children, emphasizing literacy, and strengthening family bonds to decrease child abuse and neglect.
When dispersing funds, the commission works to ensure the partner agencies operate in a manner that matches the fundamental strategies of the commission. The organization offers a series of mini-grants each year. Lately, one of the keys to receiving assistance from the commission is an effort on the part of recipient agencies to collaborate with others to stretch the value of the dollar. As a result, close to $20,000 a year is given out in mini-grants.
Last year, the YMCA, Anna K. Davie Elementary School, South Rome Early Learning Center, Exchange Club Family Resource Center, Open Door Home, Floyd County Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the FERST Readers of Floyd County, Floyd Against Drugs, Greater Rome Toys for Tots, A Teen’s Choice, Rome City Schools College and Career Academy and the Boys and Girls Clubs of NW Georgia were awarded grants.
Collins acts as a not-so-secret shopper to observe services provided by the agencies that receive R-FCCCY mini-grants. “They know who I am, so I’m going to show my support more than anything,” Collins said. In addition, many of the agencies that receive assistance from the commission attend monthly collaborative meetings held on the first Thursday of each month at the Goodwill Career Center.
She’s also excited about the growth of a Parent Ambassador program in the South and East Rome communities. A number of parents have decided to start their own businesses, so the commission has started an accelerated entrepreneurship workshop series with the local office of the UGA Small Business Development Center in Rome. “What it’s looking like for these parents is to do better for themselves to do better for their children,” Collins said.
The need for social services and structured intervention on behalf of youth can be easily witnessed because more than 14,900 children in Floyd County were enrolled either in Medicaid or PeachCare health programs in 2020.
Collins has pretty much run the Commission by herself on a day-to-day basis but got good news early in May when her board approved hiring a part-time programming assistant, Kim Headrick.
For more information regarding the Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, visit floyd.gafcp.org or call 706-844-4952.