DCF Appoints Children’s Ombudsman

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 1, 2016

DCF Appoints Children’s Ombudsman
~Heather Cox Rosenberg appointed to work with youth and young adults in care~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children and Families today announced the appointment of Heather Cox Rosenberg as the children’s ombudsman. Effective immediately, Rosenberg will serve as a liaison between children involved in the child welfare system and department leadership.

“We are excited to welcome Heather to the DCF team and start her work as the ombudsman for the children we serve to give them a direct line of communication to the agency,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Heather’s previous work with foster and adoptive families gives her unique insight into the challenges these kids may face and will help inform us as we make decisions that often impact children in care.”

A foster and adoptive mother, Rosenberg has served as the president of the Tallahassee Area Foster and Adoptive Parent Association since September 2014. She has also been recognized with several awards for her volunteerism and victim assistance, including receiving the 2014 Child Welfare Excellence Award for Circuit 2. She lives in Crawfordville with her husband, Evan, and their three adopted children. Since 2009, they have also fostered 16 other children.

As the children’s ombudsman, Rosenberg will work closely with youth and young adults in care to help improve the quality of the foster care system. Procedures are being developed to ensure that children in the system of care have every opportunity to securely and confidently communicate with the ombudsman on a regular basis. Contact information and options to reach the ombudsman will be shared with youth, partner agencies, staff, the media, and the public.

DCF is charged with protecting the individual best interest of each child who comes into care. As such, the circumstances surrounding each child must be carefully assessed to determine the types of services needed, the most appropriate placement, and any other supports that can help facilitate the best possible outcome. DCF absolutely does not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination against any child for any reason. Every vulnerable child is entitled to our protection and the new ombudsman will give children a voice to speak on their behalf.

Rosenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in applied American politics and policy from Florida State University. Rosenberg most recently served at the Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program and previously worked at the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Tallahassee Community College, and other private organizations.

Contact: David Frady, DCF Press Secretary, (850) 717-4611

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