DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

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

Children and Families' Task Force on Child Protection Presents Findings
~ Task Force Offers Preliminary Report to Secretary Butterworth ~

FT. MYERS, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth applauded members of the Task Force on Child Protection today for their thoughtful insight and dedication as they met to discuss their preliminary findings on Florida's child protection system. The group's findings were presented in a preliminary report which identifies several key areas of concern within the child welfare system and suggested actions necessary to improve the safety of children in Florida.

"The development of a system of accountability that guides our work in child protection will be the legacy that distinguishes you from the many groups that have addressed children's issues in the past," said Secretary Butterworth. "You can be assured that your recommendations will help us better care for vulnerable children, be more responsive in locating missing children and shape the Department's legislative priorities for the 2008 Legislative session."

The report includes recommendations to create minimum standards of care, identify model programs in existence, as well as establish best practices and strategic ways to put recommended changes in place. Secretary Butterworth thanked members of the Task Force for their assessment, but most importantly acknowledged the sense of urgency with which the Department must address the needs of the children of Florida.

"Each of our members has demonstrated their commitment to the Task Force through their involvement and participation over the last several months," said Task Force Chairman Barry Krischer. "We've laid the groundwork, but that only further emphasizes that there is much more work needed. Clearly, however, it will be worth it for Florida's most at risk and vulnerable children."

The Task Force for Child Protection began meeting in August to evaluate Florida's child protection system. Members of the Task Force include social services advocates, members of law enforcement, and representatives of the state courts. For more information about the Task Force for Child Protection or to view their findings presented today in Ft. Myers, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/admin/childSafety/.


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