DCF Names New Northwest Regional Managing Director

For Immediate Release: April 09, 2015
Contact: DaMonica Rivas, Northwest Region Communications Director, 850-590-6649

DCF Names New Northwest Regional Managing Director
Kellie brings nearly 20 years of child welfare and private sector experience to the Region

TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) named Kellie Sweat Darnell, a 17 year child welfare and private sector veteran, to serve as the Regional Managing Director for the department’s Northwest Region. Kellie will oversee all DCF operations and programs within a 16-county area stretching from Jefferson to Escambia counties. Since June 2014, Kellie has served as the Director of Child Welfare Operations within the statewide Office of Child Welfare.

Kellie will be replacing Vicki Abrams who previously served as the Northwest Regional Managing Director. Vicki has since been promoted to Assistant Secretary of Operations within the statewide DCF office.

“It is a true honor to join the staff, partners and providers within Florida’s Northwest community,” said Kellie Sweat Darnell, DCF Northwest Regional Managing Director. “I fully believe in the mission of the Department and understand that it takes collaboration at all levels to achieve our goals. I plan to continue the great work and initiatives started under Vicki’s leadership while working with the community to gain a better understanding of how we can best advocate for the families within the Northwest Region.”

“Kellie’s diverse experience in child welfare, community-based care and the private sector gives her the foundation to lead this region,” said Vicki Abrams, Assistant Secretary for Operations. “I am confident the she will continue to enhance partnerships within the community while finding methods to innovatively and efficiently serve the individuals and families of the Northwest Region.”

Kellie previously served as Manager of Consulting Services and Director of Child Protection Transformation where she led the development and implementation of the statewide child welfare redesign that created a common child welfare practice model across agencies, organizations and stakeholder groups. She was also been responsible for the Florida Abuse Hotline and the Interstate Compact Placement of Children, which is now the centerpiece of a national pilot project.

Kellie’s first day as the Northwest Regional Managing Director will be Friday.