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Essential Services

Find benefits and services in the state of Florida for children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Public Assistance

Our Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency helps promote strong and economically self-sufficient communities by determining eligibility for food, cash, and medical assistance for individuals and families in Florida.

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Child & Family Services

The Florida Department of Children and Families is committed to the well-being of children and their families. Our responsibilities encompass a wide-range of services, including – among other things – assistance to families working to stay safely together or be reunited, foster care, youth and young adults transitioning from foster care to independence, adoption.

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Parenting & Child Development

Positive Parenting Tips that Promote Good Behavior in Early Childhood

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Abuse Services

Find help, resources and report abuse, neglect, domestic violence and human trafficking.

Abuse Hotline

The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Find help for Domestic Violence

Human Trafficking

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Abuse Hotline

Substance Abuse & Mental Health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program is responsible for the oversight of a statewide system of care for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of children and adults with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.

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    Find Help

    • If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call 800-273-8255 right away.
    • If you or someone you know is in need of substance abuse and/or mental health services: Find Local Services by County
    • If you or someone you know needs access to crisis counseling services following a natural disaster: Project COPE
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health

    Licensing

    Licensure information for Child Care, Foster Care, SAMH, Group Home and Emergency Notices and Orders.

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    Background Screening

    Find statute, regulatory agency, group and individuals subject to screening.

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    Background screenings and licensing

    Youth and Young Adults

    The Department of Children and Families recognizes that the transition into adulthood can be tough for young people. For current and former foster youth, it can be even more difficult without an existing support system. The Office of Continuing Care, part of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, offers free, one-on-one help for young people who are about to or have recently transitioned out of foster care, aiming to make the leap into adulthood a positive experience. You can reach the Office of Continuing Care at (850) 300-HOPE or (850) 300-4637.

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    Abuse Hotline

    The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.  Call 800-962-2873.

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    Be prepared to provide specific descriptions of the incident(s) or the circumstances contributing to the risk of harm, including who was involved, what occurred, when and where it occurred, why it happened, the extent of any injuries sustained, what the victim(s) said happened, and any other pertinent information are very important.

    Abuse Hotline available 24x7

    Adult Protective Services

    We are dedicated to protecting vulnerable adults from further abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect and enabling adults with disabilities to remain in the community.

     

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    Who Should Report Abuse?

    Florida law requires the reporting of known or suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of vulnerable adults (elderly or disabled)

    Adult Protective Services
    Domestic Violence

    The Office of Domestic Violence is responsible for providing oversight on the administration of state and federally-funded initiatives designed to intervene and prevent domestic violence and support survivors and their families. 

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    What is Human Trafficking

    Children can be victims of human trafficking regardless of their citizenship, residency, or alien or immigrant status. In Florida reports can be made to the Florida abuse hotline.

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    Human Trafficking

    Explore Adoption

    Florida's adoption initiative aimed at promoting the benefits of public adoption. Explore Adoption urges families to consider creating or expanding their families by adopting a child who is older, has special needs, or is a part of a sibling group. Through public education, expanded partnerships and social media, Explore Adoption invites Floridians to learn more about the children immediately available for adoption in their home state and community.

    Learn more about adoption

    For Families

    One of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent is choosing quality child care for your child. Find resources available to help you make a good choice.

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    Child Care adult with group of children

    Becoming a Foster Parent

    You have something unique to offer our system of care! Foster parents are integral members of a child’s “team” and ensure all the child’s needs are met. Many foster parents and their families choose to keep their homes active and continue accepting children because they find the experience so meaningful and rewarding. There will be discussions with you on what child best fits the strengths of your family and what is the appropriate amount of time a child should stay in your home. You’ll have the chance to work with your team on what your family has to offer and make decisions together about kids that will benefit the most from your gifts.

    Start my foster journey today

    Independent Living for Youth and Young Adults

    The Department of Children and Families recognizes that the transition into adulthood can be tough for young people. For current and former foster youth, it can be even more difficult without an existing support system. The Office of Continuing Care, part of Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, offers free, one-on-one help for young people who are about to or have recently transitioned out of foster care, aiming to make the leap into adulthood a positive experience.

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    The Department of Children and Families Public Benefits and Assistance help promote strong and economically self-sufficient communities by determining eligibility for food, cash, and medical assistance for individuals and families in Florida.

    Food Assistance 

    The Food Assistance Program helps people with low-income buy healthy food.

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    Medicaid

    Medicaid provides medical coverage to low-income individuals and families.

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    Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)

    The TCA program provides cash assistance to families with children under the age of 18 or under age 19 if full time secondary (high school) school students, that meet the technical, income, and asset requirements. Pregnant women may also receive TCA, either in the third trimester of pregnancy if unable to work, or in the 9th month of pregnancy. 

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    Refugee Services

    The Department of Children and Families’ Refugee Services Program is federally funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services to assist refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency and social adjustment within the shortest possible time after their arrival in the United States.

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    Homelessness

    The Office on Homelessness (Office) serves as a single point of contact in state government for agencies, organizations, and stakeholders that serve the homeless population. The Office oversees policy and funding toward ending homelessness and serving persons experiencing homelessness and recognizes and designates local Continuum of Care (CoC) entities to serve as lead agencies for the homeless assistance system throughout Florida.

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    Public Benefits Integrity (PBI)

    The Office of Public Benefits Integrity is responsible for investigating public assistance fraud or misuse regarding the SNAP (Food Assistance), TANF (Cash Assistance), and Medicaid programs by individuals. We are dedicated to preventing, detecting, and recovering waste, fraud and abuse within the public assistance programs.

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    Substance Abuse and Mental Health

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program is responsible for the oversight of a statewide system of care for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of children and adults with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.

    Treatment

    Addiction is a problem that can affect people of any age and background.  Find out about the various treatment options.

    Treatment for Substance Abuse

    Adult Mental Health (AMH)

    Children's Mental Health Program

    State Mental Health Treatment Facilities

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    Prevention

    Substance Abuse Prevention is a proactive, comprehensive system that is designed to preclude, forestall, or impede the development of substance abuse problems, primarily for youth. Learn more about prevention methods.

    Standing Order for Overdose Prevention

    Substance Abuse Prevention

    Suicide Prevention

    Youth Tobacco Prevention

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    Services for Providers

    Find information for Providers - Providers Listing, Managing Entities, FASAMS, Training and more.

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