For Immediate Release: May 27, 2016
DCF Provides Information to Parents for Selecting a Summer Camp
TALLAHASSEE – As the end of the school year approaches, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) reminds parents and caregivers about precautions they can take to ensure their child has fun in a safe summer camp program.
“It’s important for children to stay active and social over summer break, and it’s equally important for parents to ensure their child’s wellbeing by checking the safety standards of all summer camp choices,” said Secretary Mike Carroll. “We encourage caregivers to look into their summer camp selections and to ask important questions before enrolling their child in a program.”
Florida law requires all camp owners, operators, employees and volunteers to submit to background screenings for state and federal criminal histories. DCF publishes a self-reported list of summer camps that have acknowledged state screening requirements on the department’s website. Though the department is not authorized to license or inspect camps, DCF investigates complaints and concerns related to background screenings.
Parents and caregivers are advised to take time to research and learn about any summer camp programs they are considering for their children. In addition to the summer camp listing, DCF has a recommended checklist of questions to ask when selecting a program. Tips include checking:
- The program’s health and safety policies and procedures
- Staff to child ratios and adequate facility settings
- Staff qualifications, training, experience and education
- The program’s license or accreditation
A list of screened camps and the complete summer camp checklist are available at www.myflfamilies.com/summercamps.
If there are concerns that a summer camp is operating without background screening of required employees, it can be reported to the department by calling 1-888-352-2842 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, (850) 717-4450