Florida’s Children and Youth Cabinet Creates New Workgroups and Expands Membership
~ New initiatives to improve coordination of children’s services~
ORLANDO – Florida families are getting some extra help to protect and nurture some of the most vulnerable among us—our children. Yesterday, Secretary David Wilkins of the Department of Children and Families, and the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet announced the creation of four new Cabinet workgroups:
- The Human Trafficking Workgroup, chaired by Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters;
- The Interagency Background Screening workgroup, chaired by Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Chuck Corley;
- The Community Services Delivery Models Workgroup to improve service integration, chaired by Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz;
- Death Review Teams Workgroup, chaired by Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek.
These new workgroups will help the Cabinet achieve the goal of helping children by sharing information and ideas among all of the state’s agencies who focus on helping Florida’s families.
"The Cabinet’s goals are centered on a commitment to children and youth issues and supporting the healthy growth and development of Florida’s children," said Secretary Wilkins. "As a Cabinet, we continue to work collaboratively to identify opportunities and implement the changes that need to be made in order to give all of Florida’s children the best possible opportunities to meet their full potential, now and for generations to come."
The announcement came during the Cabinet meeting held yesterday and hosted by the University of Central Florida.
Florida’s First Lady and Chief Child Advocate Ann Scott, also met with Cabinet members to thank them for their commitment to Florida’s children. "I appreciate the passion, dedication, and hard work of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet," said Mrs. Scott. "I know that the Cabinet members do the difficult work to create real changes and deliver services to Florida’s children. I am also encouraged by the positive voice and perspective that the new youth member will bring. This is a wonderful leadership and educational opportunity for these young people."
Since our last meeting in June, the Cabinet membership has expanded to include advisory members from the business community, faith-based community, higher education, law enforcement and military. Today, Chairman Wilkins announced the addition of an advisory position from the Youth Commission, with teen representatives presenting and having a seat at the table during each meeting. The teens will give a voice for the children and teens in Florida. This will provide the dual benefit of giving the Cabinet a youth voice at the table as well as providing a wonderful opportunity for the Youth Commission to be involved with state leaders.
"Our children are Florida’s most precious resource – and it is the mission of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet to seek improved coordination and communication across our state agencies that serve children. We are looking forward to working with the new members of the Cabinet and the new workgroups to accomplish our mission," said Cyndee Odom, Director of the Governor’s Office Adoption and Child Protection. "I thank Governor Scott, First Lady Ann Scott and the administration for their support of the Cabinet’s vision and mission."
The Cabinet encourages all Floridians to visit the Children and Youth Cabinet Web site at http://FLCYC.CYCISS.ORG to learn more the Cabinet, work products and future meetings.