Scott Seeks $31 Million Bump In DCF Funding For Child Protection

Gov. Scott to propose increased funds for child protection

By Mary Ellen Klas

Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

“Editor’s Note: We believe the constant flow of federal funding is the very reason that CPS is so corrupt. They are ALREADY taking/stealing children for baseless reasons and destroying families each and every day. A pay increase and promotion only pushes them to steal more children.”

In an effort to repair his child welfare track record, Gov. Rick Scott will announce Tuesday in Miami that he is steering $31 million in additional money to child protection efforts, a move aimed at reducing caseloads and increasing oversight of vulnerable children in Florida.

Ticky Ricky

The announcement comes in the wake of dozens of child deaths from abuse and neglect in the past year, and amid calls for reform of the Department of Children & Families from the non-profit Casey Family Foundation and Democrats in the Legislature.

“While DCF has made significant changes to protect children, we still have much to do to protect the most vulnerable among us,’’ the governor said in a statement on Monday. “Even one child death is a death too many.”

The governor will also announce that he will steer an additional $8 million to sheriff’s offices to investigate child abuse complaints, a turnabout for the governor who recommended a $17 million reduction in the grants to sheriffs for child protective efforts in his 2013-14 budget proposal.

The governor’s proposal, which is only a recommendation to the Legislature, includes restoring money for Substance Abuse and Mental Health programs, services that play a vital role in reducing child abuse, the agency said in a statement released to the Herald/Times on Monday.

The governor said his “historic increase to DCF funding” will pay for the hiring of 400 additional child protective investigators. The proposal also aims to reduce caseloads for child protective investigators from the current 13.3 cases per investigator to 10, and institute two-person teams in cases involving children under age 4 when the family has a history of domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness, the statement said.

The program would be modeled after a pilot program DCF is currently running using paired investigators for high-risk cases in Miami-Dade and Polk counties.

DCF interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said she is confident the proposals “will keep Florida children safe.”


DCF interim Secretary Esther Jacobo

“Armed with input from national experts and data to back up our proposals, we are prepared to ensure that these funds will be laser focused on protecting children who are most at-risk,” Jacobo said in the statement.

The governor’s recommendation also includes restoring 26 of the 72 quality assurance positions that were cut under former DCF Secretary David Wilkins. Child advocates blame those cuts for contributing to some of the child deaths.

Another 50 current investigator positions would be eligible for career advancement under a new “Child Protective Master Practitioner” plan that would reward case workers with the most knowledge and experience.

The Casey Family Programs reviewed 40 child deaths last year and concluded that both DCF and community-based care organizations should focus more resources on providing services aimed at stabilizing families to prevent abuse.

The governor’s track record in his previous budget requests to the Legislature has been to reduce funding to the child welfare agency. In his first budget proposal in the 2011-12 budget year, for example, the governor recommended reducing funding for DCF by $238 million below its current levels at the time.

In 2011-12, Scott recommended increasing the agency budget by $1.7 million over the level approved by lawmakers a year before but, in 2013-14, he recommended reducing the budget again — by $75.7 million — below what lawmakers had approved the year before.

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3 comments to Scott Seeks $31 Million Bump In DCF Funding For Child Protection

  • Raquel Okyay

    More money means more stolen children. The state of Florida is asleep while the government is the problem, the true criminals are the case workers, the prosecutors, guardians, and CPS agents are legally stealing kids from their loving homes each and every day, and no one gives a damn. They’ve been doing it for 20 years. If you are a Floridian and you do nothing, you are just as guilty.


    its seems to me the so called folks of today are always trying to attack people but first the kids and then others altogether now up here in new jersey they do the same crap with others $$$$$$$ but up here we changed our name so i will call it from what im used dys divion youth services which i was in most my child hood its all a bunch of nonsence govenment of all states need to get there heads up out there butts and fly right for the children for the the sake of being human and not a buncxh of munsters

  • Nancy

    What blows my mind is that with all of the different “solutions” offered – many of which involve extra $, none of them seem to want to steer that money into services to prevention, in-home services to avoid removal or outside quality control review (something already required by federal law and not acknowledged by any State that I know of…). Another huge elephant in the middle of this room is the issue of opinions v. neglect; Is home schooling really educational neglect? Are parents who smoke pot really unable to care for children? How about those who drink a little beer? Is being poor abuse? How about making strict requirements that in order to keep a child more than one week, the standards of abuse and or neglect have to be met AND social worker statements should not be given more weight than those of teachers, doctors, parents and other friends and family particularly when there is no corroborating evidence. This entire scam makes me sick and has totally changed my beliefs about inherent goodness. Now I believe that most humans are more inherently greedy and self-centered than good and loving. It’s a very sad and life changing perspective adjustment.

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