Governor’s Office, Department of Children and Families Enhance Role of Child Advocates

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2012

Contact:
Erin Gillespie
Press Secretary
(850) 717-4450

Governor’s Office, Department of Children and Families Enhance Role of Child Advocates

PANAMA CITY — In the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection, the role of advocacy will be enhanced to increase the focus on community empowerment through expanding the team of champions who will highlight children’s issues.

Zackary Gibson will be the new Director of the Office of Adoption and Child Protection and Chief Child Advocate. Gibson brings 10 years of experience in a broad range of children’s programs and tremendous enthusiasm for children’s issues. Gibson will also support the operation of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

In order to bring additional focused attention to various child-based initiatives, several volunteer advocacy roles will be created to work in conjunction with this office. Among them, Tanya Wilkins, wife of Secretary Wilkins, will speak at events throughout the state regarding adoption and foster care, while First Lady Ann Scott will continue in her role with initiatives and events that focus on childhood literacy, health and wellness.

Cyndee Odom, former Director of the Office of Adoption and Child Protection, will be the new lead for Domestic Violence prevention and Child Welfare Independent Living initiatives at DCF. Both of these programs are high-priority initiatives that will benefit from Odom’s leadership and expertise.

For more information, please go to www.flgov.com/child_advocacy

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