April 4, 2005

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Federal Health and Human Services official Praises Alabama’s Child Welfare System

Alabama’s child welfare system is a nationally recognized model for excellence that other states are seeking to emulate, Ann Fontaine, a supervisor with the federal Department of Health and Human Services’(HHS) regional office in Atlanta, said in Montgomery.

"Alabama has an extremely good child welfare program," Ms. Fontaine told the State Board of the Department of Human Resources at its quarterly meeting. She said other states are keenly interested in the dramatic improvements that have been made in Alabama’s child welfare system.

Ms. Fontaine also told DHR State Board members that, assuming the state’s revised implementation plan is approved, the agency will not be in jeopardy of losing federal funding for its child welfare automation system (ASSIST - Alabama Social Services Information System). More than 40 (forty) states - including Alabama - are currently working to bring their child welfare systems into compliance with federal regulations. Ms. Fontaine said HHS was pleased with the progress that Alabama is making in meeting the requirements. "(DHR) Commissioner (Page) Walley is doing what needs be done," said Ms. Fontaine.

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