Tallahassee, FL - Secretary Mike Carroll, head of the Florida Department of Children and Families, accepted the Daniel Webster Leadership Award during the Healthy Families Florida Annual Leadership Meeting in Orlando last week. This annual award recognizes individuals for their outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It is named in honor of Congressman Daniel Webster who, as Florida Speaker of the House in 1998, worked tirelessly to pass the legislation that created Healthy Families Florida, an evidence-based child abuse prevention program.
Healthy Families Florida is a nationally accredited home visiting program proven to prevent child abuse and neglect by building on family strengths to promote healthy child development and family self-sufficiency. "I am tremendously proud to have been a part of bringing Healthy Families to our state. I am honored to have my name attached to the award given annually to recognize individuals who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to sustaining, enhancing and growing Healthy Families Florida," said Congressman Webster.
Throughout his career, Secretary Carroll has worked to ensure that families have what they need to overcome challenges - like poverty, substance abuse and mental illness - to provide safe, stable and nurturing homes for their children. “Secretary Carroll was instrumental in continuing the momentum for Healthy Families Florida expansion during the 2015 legislative session,” said Healthy Families Executive Director Jennifer Ohlsen. “Thanks in large part to his unwavering support, the program received a $3.9 million increase in its legislative allocation which will allow us to serve an additional 743 families,” Ohlsen added.
Secretary Carroll accepted the award saying, “I am humbled to receive this award from such an important partner, and I am very proud to accept it on behalf of the department. Our mission is a sacred one -- to give every child the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, and able to live up to their full potential, and it takes all of us working together to make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child and their family.”
Since 2009, Daniel Webster Leadership Award winners have included legislators, policy makers, law enforcement officials and community leaders who have demonstrated a passion for and commitment to effective prevention.
For more information about Healthy Families Florida, visit www.healthyfamiliesfla.org.