DCF Releases 2012 “Year in Review” to Highlight Successes of Past Year, Look Forward to Future Initiatives

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2013
Contact: Erin Gillespie, Department of Children and Families, (850) 717-4450

DCF Releases 2012 “Year in Review” to Highlight Successes of Past Year, Look Forward to Future Initiatives

TALLAHASSEE— Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins today announced the release of the agency’s 2012 annual report, “Year in Review: Realizing Change.”

“Every day, our employees are helping to improve children’s lives, providing food, shelter and medical care to those who need it most, and keeping vulnerable adults safe,” Secretary Wilkins. said. “We want to tell the story of our successes over the past year.”

Here are some of the agency's accomplishments in 2012:

  • Launched the “Fostering Florida’s Future” initiative to recruit 1,200 quality foster parents in Florida in one year. We are more than halfway to that goal.
  • Transformed the Florida Abuse Hotline into a command center that is better able to protect children.
  • Improved overall child welfare performance by 12 percent.
  • Rebranded the agency to focus on children and families surrounded by a strong community network of support.
  • Increased our social media efforts to connect with individuals and families and provide helpful information on health, safety and well-being.
  • Implemented scorecards to assess our child welfare, mental health, domestic violence and other services.
  • Collaborated with more than 1,500 individuals, businesses, faith-based organizations and nonprofits who have dedicated their time, talent and resources to helping others as part of our “Partners for Promise” initiative.
  • Increased the number of children in foster care who are receiving their high school diploma or GED by 70 percent.
  • Joined with the Department of Juvenile Justice to host more than 500 faith-based and community partners at the 2012 Faith Symposium.

The future is exciting for those who work at DCF and the hundreds of social service agencies in this great state.  In the upcoming year, we will focus on many significant initiatives:

  • The Child Welfare Transformation’s largest project -- to change the way we investigate child abuse and assess safety and risk -- began in January 2013.
  • We have launched an aggressive awareness campaign with Lauren's Kids focused on child abuse prevention.
  • Our community-based care organizations will continue to raise the bar with their additional operational improvements in the areas of child well-being, independent living and children involved in the juvenile justice system.
  • Our Economic Self-Sufficiency and Public Benefits Integrity offices will implement several new initiatives to reduce public assistance fraud, including a first-in-the-nation customer authentication process to combat identity theft.
  • The department will be working to design a performance measurement system to reward our top-performing employees.

For more information and to see the full “Year in Review,” please go to www.myflfamilies.com/2012.