DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
October 2, 2007 850-488-4855

Advisory Panel Begins Work to Improve Adult Protection System

TAMPA, FLA.- The Select Advisory Panel on Adult Protective Services today held its first meeting to identify weaknesses within Florida's adult protective system and recommend improvements to the make recommendations. The 14-member panel used the initial five hour meeting to discuss its responsibilities and goals for the months ahead, and to hear opinions and concerns from members of the public who signed up to address the panel. "Today marks the beginning of an aggressive initiative to strengthen our adult protection system," said Secretary Butterworth. "The Task Force on Child Protection has been working since July to improve Florida's child protection system. It was time we placed equal focus on enhancing the programs and services we provide to vulnerable adults, especially the elderly and disabled."

Secretary Butterworth has charged the panel with providing the Department's leadership with recommendations on improving programs and services, including guardianship, to Florida's adult population. The group is also examining xxx for improving communication between the Department and the people it serves, and identifying special needs and services that should be provided by the Department but aren't.

The members of the panel include: Professor Rebecca C. Morgan, Stetson University College of Law, Chair; Jack Shreve, former Public Counsel and currently senior counsel to the Governor; Ed Boyer, Boyer and Jackson; Richard Milstein, Akerman Senterfitt; Dr. Randy Otto, Florida Mental Health Institute; Preston Mighdoll, Assistant State Attorney, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit; Sheriff Donald Eslinger, Seminole County; Chief Dorene Thomas, Pinellas Park Police Department; Judge Patricia Thomas, Fifth Judicial Circuit; Judge Mel Grossman, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit; Michelle Hollister, Statewide Public Guardianship Office; Stacy Merritt, Department of Elder Affairs; Peggy Bailey, Senior Advocate; and Gwen Kaldenberg, Director of the Bressler Alzheimer's Program, Menorah Manor. The panel is expected to meet again later this month

For more information about the programs and services offered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, visit www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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