For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2012
Florida Improves Protection and Well-Being of Children
Strides made in education, health care, child welfare and more over the past 18 months
TALLAHASSEE — Over the past 18 months, Florida has made great strides in protecting children, helping families and supporting youth to succeed. Last week, Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins addressed the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet with a “Progress Report on Florida’s Children.”
Secretary Wilkins, who is also the Cabinet’s Chairman, spoke about more than two dozen advances in the lives of children all across this state. These improvements were compiled from initiatives at the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Office of Early Learning, the Guardian ad Litem Program, the Children and Youth Cabinet, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families.
“These examples prove children are a priority of this state, our Governor Rick Scott, our Legislature and each of our state agencies,” said Secretary Wilkins. “Our children are the future of Florida, and we know that we must do everything we can to help them grow up to be healthy, happy, successful members of society.”
The “Progress Report” included:
- Improved graduation rates, especially for minority students
- Decline in juvenile delinquency
- Increased enrollment in Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten
- New human trafficking initiatives
- A number of child protection improvements
Despite these successes, there are still many ways the lives of children in Florida can be improved. There is more work to be done, and our state agencies are working together and bringing in community partners in order to help children and families in every community.
“The number of children in poverty is high, but the economy is improving,” Secretary Wilkins said. “With our Governor’s emphasis on job creation and our focus to support families during their times of need, we know that the future is brighter for Florida’s children.”