Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

August 8, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: DCF Communications
(850) 488-4855

DCF Secretary Wilkins Encourages Communities to
Support Back-to-School Initiatives

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – With more than 19,000 children in Florida’s foster care system, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to helping communities statewide by supporting back-to-school partnerships to help send our foster children back to school prepared for excellence.

When children are given every opportunity to thrive in a positive learning environment, they are much more likely to have continued success throughout their academic careers and into adulthood.

"I strongly believe education is the key to a successful future for our children in foster care, but we can’t do it alone," DCF Secretary David Wilkins said. "It will take all of us: teachers, administrators, mentors, foster parents and the students themselves to make a real difference."

The Department is also encouraging all parents to enroll their child in affordable health insurance as part of their back to school checklist. Tomorrow, DCF and Florida KidCare will host a news conference in Tallahassee to highlight this effort.


Florida KidCare
Back-to-School Campaign kickoff Press Conference
August 9, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Mary Brogan Museum – 3rd Floor, 350 South Duval Street

A strong collaboration between child welfare agencies, educators and communities improves academic outcomes for children in foster care. Please look for opportunities with our local community based care providers and other community partners to learn more about back-to-school activities throughout the state and how you can contribute to these worthy endeavors.

To find the community based care provider in your area, visit

Back to School Initiative Highlights

Big Bend Community Based Care and the Bay County Bar Association
Summer Uniform Project - In the past two years, nearly 600 children in foster care have been able to start school with new uniforms and a heightened sense of confidence

West Palm Beach Child and Family Connections
Community Back To School Bash helps more than 500 children with back-to-school supplies

SunCoast Community Based Care Partners
Teamed up with other local organizations to ensure children in out-of-home care received all their school supplies. In the Fort Myers area, the Children's Network of Southwest Florida recruited help from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee County and Publix, which donates thousands of bags of school supplies to children in need.

The Safe Children's Coalition in Sarasota partnered with the Manatee Junior League, Publix and WTSP News to provide school supplies to more than 1,300 children.