Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

April 22, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: DCF Communications
(850) 488-4855

DCF Recognized For Public Awareness Campaigns
~~Received Two Judges’ Image Awards for Excellence in Public Relations ~~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Capital Chapter rolled out the red carpet on Thursday night and crowned the Florida Department of Children and Families Office of Communications with two Judges’ Image Awards.

"This recognition of the Department demonstrates our successful efforts to educate the public about initiatives involving our agency and community partners. Raising public awareness of children in foster care hoping to be adopted is important to our mission," Secretary David Wilkins of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), said on Friday. "I am proud of Pat Smith and Diane Hirth and everyone involved with the DCF Communications team statewide."

The winning entries are as follows: In 2010, DCF’s 7th Annual FSECC Golf Tournament was the top statewide fundraiser contributing almost 12 percent ($16,000) of the $188,309 total raised by DCF in the Big Bend area. In Florida, the nation’s fourth largest state, more than 3 million people are currently on public assistance; the Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign (FSECC), and former foster youth fulfilled a critical role in providing services to disadvantaged families. The Department, led by Press Secretary Pat Smith, produced a 30-second public service announcement to promote the event.

"30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!" featured a different video every day of children in foster care sharing their dreams of being adopted. Led by DCF’s Diane Hirth, Floridians were encouraged to visit during National Adoption Month in November to meet teens, siblings and children with medical needs who wait longest for adoption. Cyndee Odom of the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection was a critical part of the team and co-winner of this award. Since the campaign, 12 of the featured children have matched with adoptive families.