Parents and families looking for financial or other help may not know where to turn. But a new guide to community service groups in Whitfield and Murray counties could help them.

The directories, which are available from the United Way and other organizations, contain both government and private providers of services ranging from adoption and family planning to employment and training to food assistance to utility and rent assistance.

The directories came about as a result of a meeting of various agencies last year.

“We were working on family issues and looking at ways we can work together on some of those issues,” said Ann Kuzniak, coordinator of Children and Families First.

“One of the things we found is that not only are parents not aware of all of the resources available to them, some agencies aren’t aware of what other agencies can provide,” said Sally Phillips, manager of the Conasauga Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE).

One service offered by the OCSE, for instance, is the Fatherhood Services Network, a federally funded program that helps fathers paying child support receive job training, help preparing for their GED and other services.

The directory will allow those working for the various agencies to point clients in the right direction if they can’t provide the services those clients need.

“This is something the community asked for, and we helped put together,” said Amanda Burt, president of the United Way of Northwest Georgia.

Those interested in obtaining a copy can call 211 or, on a cell phone, 226-4357. Those are the United Way’s numbers for those seeking assistance.

“We don’t want this to replace 211. People can still call 211 if they need help, but this is a quick guide,” Burt said.

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