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Department of Children and Families

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Governor Rick Scott says he wants about $200 million for Florida families who adopt foster kids.

With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend millions to hire more child protective investigators and boost money spent on services for children adopted from foster care.


Lawmakers Seek To Streamline KidCare

Oct 10, 2017

A Florida Senate committee approved a bill Monday that would streamline a state children's health insurance program, even though Congress has yet to reauthorize funding for the program.

Over the past 15 years, about 50,000 Florida kids have been adopted so far. But, the head of the state’s child welfare system has mixed feelings on that number.

Florida’s child welfare officials are doing a review of their system and already looking ahead legislatively on the state and national level on what can be done to further help children within the system.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

There's been a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes in the Tampa Bay Area over the past few years. And foster care agencies are struggling to keep up with the influx.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the challenges those who work in the foster care system are facing and how it impacts the children they serve.


Increase In Child 'Baker Act' Cases Draws Attention

Jul 21, 2017

With a dramatic increase in the number of children being taken in for involuntary psychiatric examinations, a state panel Thursday began looking to address the “Baker Act” issue.

A new report on how Florida handles young human trafficking victims is receiving mixed reviews.

Advocates are happy about a new law on the books slated to take effect Saturday to help protect kids within Florida’s child welfare system.

The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.

DCF To Move Ahead With Foster-Care Changes After Bill Fails

Mar 16, 2016

A bill aimed at reforming the way Florida foster children are placed in group homes died on the last day of the 2016 legislative session.

Lawmakers Poised To Pass Child Welfare Bills

Mar 3, 2016

After a spate of child deaths in Florida, the Department of Children and Families is doubling down on child welfare reforms. Now state lawmakers are poised to pass a suite of bills to bolster that effort.

Panel Backs Confirmation Of 3 Agency Heads

Dec 6, 2015

A Senate committee Thursday approved the confirmations of three state agency heads who oversee services for vulnerable Floridians.

The head of Florida’s child welfare system gained unanimous approval during his initial Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.

House Panel Looks At Foster Care Options

Nov 19, 2015

With the rate of children coming into Florida's foster-care system slowly increasing, state lawmakers are studying how to improve the options of where the children go to live.

Department of Children and Families

Florida is on pace to have nearly as many child deaths this year as it did before the overhaul of its child welfare system last year. In about a quarter of those deaths, the Florida Department of Children and Families had prior contact with the family. 

The Florida Department of Children and Families is teaming up with the University of Central Florida to get more social workers with a four-year degree working in child welfare.

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