Our Mission: Protect the Vulnerable, Promote Strong and Economically Self-Sufficient Families and Advance Personal and Family Recovery and Resiliency
Chapter 394, Florida Statutes (F.S.) states, "The Department of Children and Families is directed to evaluate, research, plan and recommend to the Governor and Legislature programs designed to reduce the occurrence, severity and duration, and disabling aspects of mental, emotional and behavior disorders."
In other words, the Florida Department of Children and Families Mental Health Program Office is responsible for planning, managing and evaluating a statewide program of mental health services and supports, including community programs, crisis services, state residential treatment facilities, and children’s mental health services. The public mental health system is funded by federal block grant dollars and the Florida Legislature.
Though the state directly operates some of its mental health treatment facilities, Florida's community mental health system is completely privatized. Public funds are contracted through local Mental Health Program Offices, mostly with non-profit local Community Mental Health Centers. People who need services get them by going to those providers directly - the state mental health program offices do not provide services.
We want publicly funded mental health services and supports to be available, accessible and accountable. We want the supports and services provided to respond to people's needs, build on their strengths, and be outcome based. In other words, people served in the public mental health system should believe they are better off because of it. Their lives should reflect that they are living successfully in their communities.