CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I – Name
The name of the corporation shall be The Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia, Inc. (AFPAG); often referred to in this Constitution as “the Association.”


ARTICLE II – Purposes
The purposes for which the Association is formed are:

  1. To bring together all of the adoptive and foster parents, agency representatives, and community members who wish to work together for the same purposes as forth in these bylaws and articles of incorporation.
  2. To encourage and promote the formation of local adoptive and foster parent associations.
  3. To promote and enhance mutual cooperation, partnerships, coordination, and communication among adoptive parents, foster parents, adoptive parent associations, foster parent associations, all child care agencies, and other interested parties.
  4. To work in cooperation with public and private welfare agencies in improving foster care services and adoption processes.
  5. To encourage the training and education of adoptive parents, foster parents, and others working in the field of adoption and family foster care.
  6. To encourage and promote the recruitment and retention of individuals to serve as foster parents or to work in the field of foster family care.
  7. To seek viable reforms in the adoption environment and family foster care.
  8. To promote, by attitude and action, constructive social action needed to bring about improvements in child welfare systems and in legislation pertaining to all children and families in general and children in out-of-home placements, adoptive families, and foster families in particular.
  9. To promote community education and awareness of adoption and foster care issues.

ARTICLE III – Nature of the Association

SECTION 1. The Association shall be incorporated, self-governing, non-profit, non-partisan, and non-sectarian and shall not discriminate against any person on the grounds of sex, race, creed, religion, or national origin.  The Association shall solicit and collect funds for the fulfillment and furtherance of the Constitution and Bylaws.

SECTION 2. The Association shall not engage in any activities or exercises that are contrary to law or primary purposes for which this Association was formed.  In no event shall such activities violate the laws or provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(3) or

509(a) (2), which allows this body its tax-exempt status.

 

SECTION 3. In the event of the dissolution of the Association, all assets and holdings will be disposed of under the provisions of the governing Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3).

ARTICLE IV – Qualifications of Members

Membership shall consist of such class or classes with such qualifications, rights, and obligations as shall be set forth in the Bylaws of the Association.

ARTICLE V – Board of Directors, Officers

The Officers shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, and Senior Regional Vice President. The Board of Directors shall consist of the Executive Board and the Regional Vice Presidents, Committee Chairpersons, and the State Liaison. The duties of the Board of Directors shall be as set forth in the Bylaws of the Association.

ARTICLE VI – Meetings

Meetings shall be held at the call of the Board of Directors or as set forth in the Bylaws of the Association.

ARTICLE VII – Amendments
The Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by the membership.  The Constitution and Bylaws Committee will conduct an annual review of the Constitution and Bylaws to ensure that they remain accurate and current to serve the needs of Georgia’s children.  If changes are deemed necessary, the committee will report needed changes to the Board of Directors for approval.  Once changes are approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board, the revised Constitution and/or Bylaws will be presented for approval at the annual business meeting of the Association at the Annual Conference.   Passage of changes to the Constitution or Bylaws requires a two-thirds majority of the votes of those present at the annual meeting. 

Typically, the Constitution and Bylaws will not be submitted for changes more than once per year. The results of any changes will be published in the next issue of the official publication of AFPAG or the Association web site.

BYLAWS

ARTICLE I – Name
The name of the Association shall be The Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia, Inc. (AFPAG), often referred to in these bylaws as “the Association.”  The Association shall be self-governing, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian, and shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion or national origin.  The Association shall solicit and receive funds for the accomplishment and furtherance of these bylaws.  The Association shall not engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are contrary to law or to the primary purposes for which this Association was formed, nor shall it violate any provisions of the Internal Revenue Service.


ARTICLE II – Membership

SECTION 1: Types of Membership

  1. Regular membership shall be available to all individual adoptive and foster parents in good standing with AFPAG. Only regular members will have voting privileges. 
  2. Supporting membership shall be available to any organization wishing to support the purposes and efforts of this organization. They have no voting privileges. 
  3. Honorary membership may be awarded to an individual from time to time by the Association. 

SECTION 2: Dues

Dues shall be set by the Board of Directors at its discretion.  Regular members must pay dues annually to remain in good standing.

SECTION 3: Membership Year

The membership year shall be from the Annual Conference of one year to the Annual Conference of the next year, comprising 12 months.

 

ARTICLE III – Officers and Duties

SECTION 1: Board of Directors, Officers

The Officers and Board of Directors of the Association shall be as set forth in the Constitution of the Association.

SECTION 2: Structure

The Association shall be structured to work effectively with the Division of Family and Children’s Services and other organizations that provide support for adoptive and foster parents and the children in their care.

SECTION 3: Duties of the Officers

Each officer shall be a member in good standing at the time of election and for the duration of his/her term in office.  Each officer shall serve as a member of the board of directors and attend all regular, special and called meetings of the board and attend the general membership annual convention.  When his or her term of office ends, each outgoing officer shall forward the records of all activities while in office to the incoming officer within ten (10) days of the last day of his/her term.

SECTION 4: Election, Terms of Office and Replacement

  1. Election

The election of President, Executive Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be by ballot of the total state membership.  Any candidate for President must be a current member of the board of directors of the Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia who has also served on the Board for a period of three (3) years. 

The Regional Vice Presidents shall be elected by the ballot of the membership of their respective regions only. 

Elections and voting will be held at the Association’s annual conference. All tabulation will be conducted on Election Day. 

 The results will be published in the next issue of the official AFPAG publication or on the Association web site. 

Where there is no opposition, the board may determine to elect by acclamation the sole candidate for an office at the business meeting of the annual association. This election by acclamation will be recorded in the minutes of the business meeting and considered the official vote of election for this candidate. 

  1. Terms of Office

A full term of office by all officers shall constitute three (3) years.

 
Elected officers shall assume their duties May 1st of the year elected, unless elected by acclamation. In the event an officer is elected by acclamation, he/she shall complete the remaining three (3) year term of office for that position. An officer who has served more than half of a term shall be considered to have served one term.  No officer shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office. All board members must be in good standing with their local DFCS and AFPAG.

  1. Replacement

Upon vacancy of an office, during the term, the Nominating Committee shall be notified to seek a replacement. A replacement nomination from the Nominating Committee shall be submitted to the board for election. 

The President shall also have the authority to appoint a member to fill a vacant board position with the concurrence of the board.

ARTICLE IV – Board of Directors and Committees

SECTION 1: Structure

The governing authority of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Directors, which shall be responsible for the management and property of the Association. The Board of Directors shall consist of the following:

  1. Executive Board
  2. Regional Vice Presidents
  3. Chairpersons of the standing committees
  4. State Liaison

An executive board shall consist of the following officers: President, Executive Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, and the Senior Regional Vice President.

SECTION 2: Standing Committees

Standing Committees shall have a chairperson appointed by the President.  The only exception from this procedure is the Finance Committee, whose chairperson shall be the Treasurer.  The chairperson of each committee shall be responsible for selecting other members of that committee.  When a chair is vacant, the President and/or Executive Vice President shall have the authority to direct the work of a committee until such time as a chairperson is appointed.

  1. Advocacy Committee - Responsible for managing and coordinating all AFPAG advocacy activities, under the leadership of the President and Senior Regional Vice President.
  2. Education and Conference Committee - Responsible for education and training materials for foster/adoptive parents, evaluation of workshops and training, oversight of all conference issues, identifying needs and contributions of foster/adoptive parents.
  3. Membership and Services Committee - Responsible for scholarships and awards, work to generate marketing and merchandising ideas for the Association, general membership roster coordination and liaison with other committees to ensure accuracy of maintained membership records.
  4. Finance Committee - Chaired by the Treasurer; responsible for onsite help at registration for conference, handling all money received and disbursed, filing yearly tax information, ensuring consistent bonding of officers.
  5. Legislative Policy Committee - Responsible for advocacy for legislative and policy issues at the state level and local levels, advocacy for foster, adoptive relative, kinship care issues – looking to state to fund conference training for all levels, advocate for presence of a lobbyist at the State Capitol to serve on behalf of AFPAG, advocate for consistency of policy from county to county throughout the state, help Board of Directors develop and maintain a roster of credible spokespersons.
  6. Adoption Committee - Responsible for serving as the Association’s coordinator on adoption issues and helping form educational programs and communications regarding adoptions through DFCS.
  7. Communications Committee - Responsible for developing all communications to Association members and the public regarding foster parenting and adoption issues as required for the Association to work effectively in accomplishing its goals.
  8. Nominating Committee- Responsible for seeking a replacement upon vacancy of an office, during the term, to submit to the board for election. 

Standing committees may be created, changed or dissolved by common consent of the Board of Directors.

SECTION 3: AD HOC Committees

Any appointed committee shall report their actions or decision(s) to the Board of Directors and will disband themselves after the final report is accepted by the Board.  If, after a period of six (6) months, no action has been taken or report filed by an appointed committee, the committee will be disbanded.

SECTION 4: Meetings

The Board of Directors shall hold one general membership meeting per year at the annual state conference.  Other meetings may be held when scheduled by agreement of the majority of the Board of Directors.  The President shall forward to all board members a proposed agenda of the upcoming meeting.  A proposed agenda shall suffice as a written notice and shall be e-mailed to each board member not less than thirty (30) days prior to the board meetings.  Place and time of the next meeting of the Board of Directors shall be established prior to adjournment of the current meeting. The president or secretary shall be notified of any intended absences. Failure to provide notice of two (2) consecutive absences at a board meeting will result in termination of board member. 

Because the quarterly meetings are essential to the vital work of the Association, members of the Board of Directors are urged to attend all meetings unless excused by the President.  Members of the board should notify the President and/or the Secretary of the Association at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance if they are not able to attend.  Board members who miss two (2) meetings consecutively will be terminated. 

SECTION 5: Transacting Business

The Board of Directors may transact business by paper mail, electronic mail, or conference call on proposed resolutions sent to them by the Secretary.  If, within thirty (30) days, a simple majority of the returned votes are in favor of the resolutions, then the resolutions shall be deemed approved by the Board.  Otherwise, they will fail.

SECTION 6: Audit

An independent audit of the Treasury records shall be performed at the end of each membership year. The auditor shall be selected by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors.  The auditor shall be instructed to direct the audit results to the President.

SECTION 7: Duties

The members of the Board of Directors share common duties with regard to the Association:

  1. To interpret and enforce the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association.
  2. To promote, by attitude and action, constructive social action needed to bring about improvements in child welfare systems and in legislation pertaining to all children and families in general, especially children in out-of-home placements:  adoptive families and foster families.
  3. To act as an information center and research body regarding constitutional matters, finance, legislative actions and education as they pertain to adoption and foster care and the dissemination of such information.
  4. To provide a vehicle for communication among adoptive parents, foster families, local adoptive parent associations, foster parent associations, child care agencies and other interested persons.
  5. To cooperate with other organizations that have similar objectives to those of this Association.
  6. To formulate rules and regulations deemed essential to the interests and objectives of this Association.

ARTICLE V – Association Meetings
SECTION 1: The membership of this Association shall meet once a year at the AFPAG Annual Conference.

SECTION 2: Additional meetings may be called as needed by agreement of the majority of the Board of Directors.

SECTION 3: Notice meetings and proposed agenda to include place, time and date shall be sent to membership by the President at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.

SECTION 4:  All meetings shall be conducted according to the most recent version of Roberts Rules of Order. 

SECTION 5: A quorum shall consist of ten (10) board members present at a board of directors meeting. 

SECTION 6: The annual AFPAG conference shall be announced through the official publication of AFPAG or through the Association web site.


ARTICLE VI – Officer Recall
When at least half of the Board of Directors perceives an officer to be unable to fulfill the duties and obligations of office as outlined in the appropriate job description, the President or person assigned by the President will counsel the officer regarding the existing deficiencies.  If satisfactory resolution is not achieved to allow the officer to fulfill the duties and obligations properly, then the officer will be asked to resign the position. 

If the officer does not resign as requested within fourteen (14) days, a special meeting of the Board will be called to recommend a Bill of Recall. The recall will become valid with a two-thirds or greater vote of the Board present.  The officer being considered for recall may not vote. 

The results of the vote shall become a permanent record of the Board of Director’s proceedings.  The officer in question will be advised of the results of the vote as soon as possible, but no later than one week afterwards.


ARTICLE VII – Amendment

The Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by the membership.  The Constitution and Bylaws Committee will conduct an annual review of the Constitution and Bylaws to ensure that they remain accurate and current to serve the needs of Georgia’s children.  If changes are deemed necessary, the committee will report needed changes to the Board of Directors for approval.  Once changes are approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board, the revised Constitution and/or Bylaws will be presented for approval at the annual business meeting of the Association at the Annual Conference.   Passage of changes to the Constitution or Bylaws requires a two-thirds majority of the votes of those present at the annual meeting. 

Typically, the Constitution and Bylaws will not be submitted for changes more than once per year.  The results of any changes will be published in the next issue of the official publication of AFPAG or on the Association web site.

As approved unanimously by the general membership on February 23, 2018.