DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Sarrah Troncoso
December 21, 2007 850-488-4855

Children and Families Sends Foster Children Home for the Holidays
~ Department and Florida's judges help children spend the holidays with out-of-state relatives ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth today announced that nearly 200 of Florida's foster children will be spending the holidays with parents or relatives in other states. This was made possible through a program that allows foster children to visit out of state relatives for up to 30 days.

"The holidays are a time to be together with family and loved ones and that is no different for Florida's foster children," said Secretary Butterworth. "These children are able to spend the holidays with family and this is a true testament to what happens when we all come together to make this a brighter holiday for the children in our care."

Secretary Butterworth praised Chief Judges, Dependency Judges, case managers and Chief Executive Officers of local community-based care organizations for assisting Department staff in making these visits a reality for foster children in Florida. The Department received an enthusiastic response from all parties, based in Florida and those in other states, who came together to fulfill these foster children's holiday wishes.

Through a united effort judges, attorneys, and child welfare specialist, using the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, permitted nearly 200 children to visit relatives out of state this holiday season. These children are waiting permanent placement with the families they are visiting.

"This is just the sort of red-tape shredding leadership our kids deserve," said Judge David Gooding of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. "Secretary Butterworth sees foster children the way we see our own children. This is a huge shift from an attitude of being bogged down by processes and just getting by to an attitude that expects successful outcomes for our children."

For more information on the Department of Children and Families, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/.


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