A career in community work has earned Susan Boggs a much-deserved retirement. On June 1, Boggs, the Fayette County Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, will retire after 31 years of service with the Department of Human Services.
Boggs has called the area home her whole life. She grew up in Griffin with her parents and brother. She went to Woodward Academy for high school, then on LaGrange College where she was an Art Education major.
Coming out of college, Boggs found work with the DHS in a federal grant position with the Independent Living Program for teens in foster care. The position was set to last four months, but it got her hooked.
“I just loved it. It was funded again, so I stayed,” she remembered. “I was really proud to be the start of something new and exciting.”
Soon, it became her life’s work.
“Working in Department of Family and Children Services is both challenging and rewarding all at one time. I just love my career and the people I worked with. I always had great mentors around me,” she said. “I have a great deal of passion for the service for our families, the communities, and the people that I worked with. I believe in the work we do.”
Family and Children Services helps families by reuniting children with their parents or by finding permanent homes for them through adoption.
“We do not just ‘snatch children.’ We are there to make sure children are safe, but that means working with families to strengthen them and providing them with services to assist them,” she said. “Our agency is there to help families, not to hurt them. We have helped a great number of families and children. I am so proud of that.”
The goal is to reunite families or find other family members to care for the children, but that cannot always happen.
“Sometimes children do need to come into foster care, but only to protect them until the parents can learn skills to protect their children. Reunification is our first priority,” she said. “It is all about safety, permanency, and the well-being of children. We provide food stamps, Medicaid, and TANF (a work program). These programs also assist families and strengthen them.”
The bottom line is advocating for children.
“It’s about being part of a community that cares about children and developing services for them. Fayette County has been awesome,” she said. “Working with partners here is so valuable and strong.”
Retiring from DHS will offer the mother of three beautiful daughters and two precious grandsons more time to focus on her own family, but she won’t turn away from giving back to children in need.
“I have been with the Department for 31 years, I just felt like it was time for my services to be in other places,” she said. “I have my certification in juvenile mediations, and I am looking forward to working in this area and expanding the knowledge of this service to families and the courts.”
Pete Nelms, Chairman of the Fayette Department of Family and Children Services Board, knows Boggs will be greatly missed.
“There are countless families, children, and partnerships in our community who were served over several decades by Ms. Boggs’s dedication to her career as our director,” he said. “Ms. Boggs’s leadership and professionalism will be missed, not only in the community, but by her employees in the DFACS office.”