ATLANTA (October 26, 2020) | Today, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced the appointment of Carla M. Santiago-Barbosa and Nikki Raymond to the Office of Child Advocate Advisory Committee.

“The Office of the Child Advocate provides increasingly critical services for Georgia’s children, their relatives, and child welfare professionals,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “I am proud to announce the appointment of two incredible Georgians who will faithfully serve on the advisory committee and diligently provide oversight to ensure that victims of child abuse or neglect are not lost in our system and are also afforded meaningful protection and support.”

Carla M. Santiago-Barbosa is a licensed clinical psychologist.  She also serves as the Clinical Coordinator of Ser Familia, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to equip Latino families with the tools, resources and skills necessary to move from crisis to thriving and which provides education and counseling services.  www.serfamilia.org. Dr. Santiago’s practice includes the use of trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy and interventions.  Originally from Puerto Rico, she and her family reside in Marietta.   

Nikki Raymond is the CEO of Georgia HOPE.  Georgia HOPE is a community-based provider of family preservation, mental health, and substance use services. Committed to increasing access to quality care, Georgia HOPE has been a pioneer in providing services outside of traditional office settings, effectively breaking down barriers by delivering services in homes, schools, communities, and via secure online connections.  www.gahope.org.  Ms. Raymond holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Psychology and an MBA in Leadership & Management.  Originally from Philadelphia, she and her family reside in Woodstock.

In 2000, the General Assembly created the Office of the Child Advocate (“OCA”) to serve as an independent system of checks and balances for Georgia’s child protection services by monitoring the agencies charged with providing such services. The OCA responds to complaints from children, relatives, foster parents, and child welfare workers to ensure Georgia’s at-risk children are provided enhanced protections for the duration of their interactions with child services. Additionally, the OCA is charged with the creation and implementation of the state’s child abuse protocols.

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