State Agencies Focus on Teamwork to Best Serve Florida's Children

For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2012

Erin Gillespie
DCF Press Secretary
(850) 717-4450

State Agencies Focus on Teamwork to Best Serve Florida's Children
Local teams improve services to children served by multiple agencies

Children and Youth Cabinet of FloridaMIAMI - On Wednesday, eight agencies and programs that deliver services to children entered into an interagency agreement that will improve collaboration to provide more focused help to Florida's children and families in need of assistance.

"State agencies are designed to work collaboratively, but many children have complicated cases that require us to work together at a deeper level to develop the best solutions for the family," said DCF Secretary David Wilkins, Chairman of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet. "While this collaboration happens informally every day, this new agreement develops a framework to ensure we can instantly solve problems as a team, resulting in better outcomes for the child and family."

Many children and families receiving help from a state agency are receiving services from multiple agencies. This agreement, signed at the Children and Youth Cabinet meeting this week in Miami, establishes local teams to make certain the focus stays on providing the best outcome for the child, rather than on each agency's process.

Local, regional and state review teams will be responsible for resolving problems experienced by children who receive services from multiple agencies. The review teams will devise solutions and offer services that are family based and aimed at keeping families together.

"This agreement is a win for Florida's children and families. It is wonderful to see such commitment and hard work from the leaders and staff at all of these agencies who came together and made the children of our state their priority," said Zack Gibson, Florida's Chief Child Advocate and Director of the Governor's Office of Adoption and Child Protection, which coordinates the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet. "We will continue to work together to reassess needs so that we are best serving Florida's children and families."

The interagency agreement was signed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Education, Department of Health, Guardian ad Litem Program, and Florida's Office of Early Learning.