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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : January 14, 2020

DCF Secretary Chad Poppell Applauds Governor DeSantis’ Commitment to Mental Health and Child Welfare Reform

Tallahassee, FL – Today, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell applauded Governor DeSantis’ commitment to mental health and child welfare reform.

During his State of the State address, the Governor emphasized the need for access to timely, meaningful mental health services, underscoring the work of the First Lady’s Hope for Healing initiative.

“Governor DeSantis is taking action and creating meaningful change for Florida’s families,” said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. “With his and the First Lady’s leadership, as well as support from the Legislature, we can redefine child welfare and establish a performance-driven system that promotes transparency and improves outcomes for our state’s most vulnerable citizens – our children.”

In his State of the State address, Governor DeSantis provided the following remarks relating to children and families in Florida:

“Building a culture of life requires us to champion adoption, and Florida is doing better in this regard. Thanks to the hard work of Secretary Poppell and his team at the Department of Children and Families, who made a concerted effort to eliminate barriers for 3,600 children awaiting adoption, DCF was able to reduce the number by 32%, representing more than 1,100 children who were able to find a forever home.

“This was done by identifying efficiencies, engaging in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, and leveraging existing resources.

“We are working hard to make the adoption process as transparent and user-friendly as possible so that every child can find a loving home.”

The Governor’s full address is available online at flgov.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT: DCF Communications Office, (850) 717-4450