Augusta has long been recognized as a community that cares about the needs of its children. In 1985, Governor Joe Frank Harris tapped Augusta as one of 10 communities in Georgia to develop a statewide plan to address the needs of Georgia’s “at-risk” children. This endeavor led to the formation of the Augusta Coalition for Children and Youth (ACCY). The ACCY’s mission was to identify the local needs of children, form a collective vision of how to meet those needs, and work with organizations and agencies to make the vision a reality. The ACCY soon became a statewide model recognized by the Governor, Zell Miller.
In 1991, the state selected Augusta as a Family Connection site to launch a pilot initiative with a grant from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation. This initiative formed an alliance between the ACCY, all Georgia Department of Human Resources agencies, the Richmond County school system and the Augusta Chamber of Commerce. The purpose was to increase children’s success in school through existing public agency resources. In 1996, the ACCY and the Family Connection formed a larger, more comprehensive organization — the Augusta-Richmond County Community Partnership for Children and Families, Inc. Renamed in 2006, the Augusta Partnership for Children, Inc. now coordinates the work of over 100 organizations and 300 individuals to improve the lives of children and their families in the Augusta area.