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Shevaun Harris joined the Department of Children and Families as the Secretary in February 2021 after a nearly two decade career at the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Prior to joining DCF, Mrs. Harris was responsible for administering the Florida Medicaid program and regulates over 40,000 health care facilities in the state. Mrs. Harris held positions in the health and human services field providing services to children and adults diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and children receiving services in an inpatient psychiatric program. During her tenure at the AHCA, Mrs. Harris lead the development and maintenance of all policies for Medicaid services, including those focused on children with special health care needs, Medicaid eligibility, long-term care, and behavioral health. She has overseen implementation of the agency’s quality improvement initiatives with particular focus on perinatal and behavioral health outcomes.
Mrs. Harris is an innovator – most recently, spearheading the development of the State’s Canadian Prescription Drug Importation program. She has led several major implementations and served as the lead negotiator for multi-billion dollar contracts under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program. This includes contracts with specialty plans that serve the child welfare population and individuals with serious mental illness. During her time as Acting Secretary, Mrs. Harris lead the AHCA’ COVID-19 efforts in partnership with other state agencies and essential health care providers.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Quinnipiac University.
Dr. Patricia Babcock
Dr. Patricia Babcock has dedicated her career to advancing child welfare and behavioral health for Florida’s children and families. She currently serves as the department’s Deputy Secretary, overseeing policy and operations for family safety, substance abuse and mental health, and economic self-sufficiency.
A licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Babcock previously served as the co-director of the Center for Behavioral Health Integration at Florida State University’s College of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine. She has also served as the interim director of Florida’s Institute for Child Welfare at FSU and in an advisory capacity for several major department child welfare projects and is an expert on implementing evidence-based training programs to community-based agencies and practitioners.
Dr. Babcock holds bachelors and masters degrees in social work and earned her PhD in social work from Florida State University in 2010. She was recently recognized by the National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect in the Clinical Category of Disruption for her project entitled “What if Child Maltreatment was Childhood Leukemia?: Lessons from the Halls of the Hospital.”
Assistant Secretary for Operations
Robert was most recently the Director of Adult Protective Services. He modernized training, redesigned response times and eliminated on-call scheduling. While Director he has served as the president of the National Adult Protective Services Association.
Robert started his career at DCF as a Music Therapist at Florida State Hospital after earning his Bachelor of Arts from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in San Juan and his Masters in Music Therapy at Florida State University
Assistant Secretary for Administration
Tony recently served the Florida House of Representatives as Budget Chief for the Justice Appropriations committee and later the Higher Education Appropriations committee where he ushered a collective $12 billion budget directly impacting Florida’s criminal justice, higher education, and vocational rehabilitation agencies.
Understanding how public services benefit local communities is a lesson he learned early in his professional career. For ten years, Tony worked in local government managing city and county operations in four Georgia communities. Tony is an experienced leader in overseeing operations for complex organizations at both the state and local levels.
As the former Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Economic Opportunity, he managed a large division responsible for multiple facilities, monitoring Federal workforce and unemployment programs, and providing human resources and programmatic financial support for employees. I had the pleasure of working with Tony during his time at DEO. I am confident that his ability to analyze data while understanding the critical impacts to individuals and families at every decision juncture will prove essential for the adults, children, and families who depend on us.
As a member of the armed forces, Tony has served in several leadership roles with the Georgia Army National Guard and Joint Detention Operations Group in Cuba. Tony earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
Assistant Secretary for Economic Self-Sufficiency
Taylor Hatch joined the department in March 2019 as the Assistant Secretary of Economic Self-Sufficiency. In this role, she is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of Florida’s public assistance programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Refugee Services, and Public Benefits Integrity.
Prior to joining DCF, Taylor served as the Director of Workforce Services at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) where she was responsible for the management and oversight of the state’s Reemployment Assistance Program, Labor Market Statistics, and One-Stop and Program Support of workforce programs, including the partnership with the local CareerSource Florida network boards across the state.
Prior to her tenure at DEO, Taylor served as Senior Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs Director at the Department of Management Services, Deputy Legislative Affairs Director for DEO, and also gained experience in private sector consulting. Serving in these capacities, she was integral in advancing legislative and strategic priorities, streamlining operational functions, and building collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
A Florida native, Taylor lives in Tallahassee with her husband Eddie and daughter Charlie. She is active in her community as immediate past president of the Junior League of Tallahassee.
Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare
Patricia Medlock was appointed Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare of the Florida Department of Children and Families in May of 2019. With more than two decades of social services experience, Patricia leads with integrity, personal and collegial accountability, and a commitment to excellence.
Patricia joined the Department in 1998 as a Family Services Counselor in the Northeast Region, as well as held several positions within the Department ranging from Protective Investigator to Supervisor, Trainer to Reviewer and Program Manager to Program Administrator, Family and Community Services Director, and most recently serving as the Region Managing Director for the last 3 years.
She was the recipient of the Child Welfare award in May 2011 for Transitional Trauma Therapist Program Development with Community Based Care, the Fourth Circuit Leadership Award in 2010 for Phase 2 Foster Care Redesign, the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families’ Performance of Excellence award in July 2005 and a recipient of the Young Professionals of Jacksonville award in 2005 from the Jacksonville Business Journal. She also graduated from the Child Welfare Leadership Program in 2006.
She graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University.