What They Are Saying… Children, Family, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Advocates Applaud Governor Scott’s ‘KEEP FLORIDA WORKING’ Budget

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2015

What They Are Saying…
Children, Family, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Advocates Applaud Governor Scott’s ‘KEEP FLORIDA WORKING’ Budget

Mike Carroll, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families, said, “This budget further demonstrates Governor Scott’s commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable Floridians. With these resources, we will have more tools available to support struggling families so they can recover and thrive.” .

Tiffany Carr, President/CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said, “Family violence threatens child is consistently a top call to the Florida Abuse Hotline; to address this, we are pleased that Governor Scott recognized the need for services to protect families that are threatened by domestic violence. This budget will expand statewide the highly successful FCADV Child Protection Investigation (CPI) Projects, as well as provide additional DCF attorneys who will be able to seek injunctions that protect both the child and domestic violence survivor from a violent perpetrator.”

Shelley Katz, chair of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) and Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Home Society of Florida, said, “We are very appreciative of the investment in Florida's children demonstrated in this budget. Investment in critical core services, including the case management workforce as well as training stipends for students who want to enter the field of child welfare will yield great dividends for the vulnerable and at risk children in our state.”

Shawn Salamida, Vice Chair of the FCC and CEO of FamiliesFirst Network, said, “CBCs are committed to providing efficient and effective services to children and families, and this investment in the case management workforce will enhance our ability to work with our partners and communities to achieve our mission of safe children and strong families.”

Patricia Babcock, Interim Director, Florida Institute of Child Welfare, said, “Governor Scott understands the urgency of having a high quality, well-trained frontline workforce to serve the complex needs of vulnerable families. Helping families get the right services to overcome their unique challenges demands a highly trained team of child welfare professionals.”

Jennifer Ohlsen, Executive Director of Healthy Families Florida, said, “With this budget, Florida’s leaders have embraced the wisdom that an ounce of prevention outweighs a pound of cure. Investing in Healthy Families Florida, a program proven to prevent child abuse in high-risk families, is a sound investment that will pay dividends for generations. Not only are Healthy Families’ home visiting services far less costly than treating the consequences of child abuse after it occurs, they promote healthy child growth and development – the key to building safe and prosperous communities throughout Florida.”

Mark Fontaine, Executive Director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, said, “This investment provides robust opportunities to track the strength and value of treatment and ensure those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues have access to the services they need in their communities.”

Mike Hansen, President of the Florida Council for Community Mental Health, said,“Governor Scott has demonstrated his deep commitment to helping Floridians struggling with mental illness. For families struggling with mental illness, the most important thing is knowing that their loved one is receiving care that will assist in their recovery.”

Harriett Wynn, President of the Florida Foster Adoptive Parent Association, said, “By fully funding the adoption subsidy and increasing cost of living payments for adoptive parents statewide, Governor Scott and the Legislature have demonstrated a commitment to Florida families who’ve made the selfless choice to welcome a child into their home.”

Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, (850)717-4450