DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
August 3, 2007 850-488-4855

Children and Families' Child Protection Task Force Begins Meeting in Tampa

TAMPA, FLA.- Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth met with his appointees to the Task Force on Child Protection for the first time today, explaining their charge and his expectations for improvements to Florida's child welfare system. The 13-member group convened in a public meeting at the Stetson University College of Law Tampa Law Center to begin dissecting the state's child protection system.

"I'm confident the findings and recommendations of the Task Force will point us a new direction, the right direction, so that kids will be safer in our care," said Secretary Butterworth. "I realize this is not an easy task. Some may even argue that we're asking the impossible. But for the sake of our children, we can't afford to fail."

The Task Force, representing Florida law enforcement, social services, state government and the state's judicial system, will identify concerns and make recommendations to improve coordination and communication, as well as policies, procedures and training efforts for all parties involved in protecting and locating children in Florida's dependency system. The group is also being asked to offer suggestions on potential legislation related to child protection.

Task Force members include: State Attorney Barry Krischer, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Chairman; Circuit Court Judge David M. Gooding, Fourth Judicial Circuit; Major Connie Shingledecker, Manatee County Sheriff's Office; Director Donna Uzzell, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Glen Casel, Executive Director, Community Based Care of Seminole, Inc.; Tana Ebbole, Children Services Council, Palm Beach County; Adam M. Goldstein, Board of Trustees, Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.; Jim Kallinger, Chief Child Advocate, Office of the Governor; Richard Komando, Program Director, Guardian Ad Litem, Fourth Judicial Circuit; Devan Coffman, Youth Advisory Board President, District 1; Rochelle Hooke, Florida Youth Shine Representative; Director Patricia Badland, Department of Children and Families Family Service Program; Circuit Administrator Alan Abramowitz, 15th Judicial Circuit, Department of Children and Families.

The group is expected to provide Secretary Butterworth with a preliminary report on their findings by October 1, 2007. For more information about the Task Force for Child Protection or the Department of Children and Families, visit www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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