Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

October 3, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Gillespie
DCF Press Secretary, (850) 459-2063

~ Agency Reduces Lease Costs while Efficiently Handling Applications for Public Benefits ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Children and Families will save $1.3 million by training employees to telecommute and reducing leased office space.

To ensure clients in need of assistance are better served, the agency has focused on increasing the number of ACCESS community partners. These partners, usually other local social service organizations, help clients to apply for benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance from their offices.

The reduction in leased office space and the increase in telecommuting and community partnerships have not only saved taxpayers more than a million dollars, but have also helped our department efficiently and accurately process benefits for millions of Floridians in need. For the past four years, the agency has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federal food stamp program, for being the best in the nation.

"With more than 90 percent of our applications being filed online, it just makes good business sense that we would use technology to help our work force be as efficient and productive as possible and save taxpayers money in the process," said Secretary David Wilkins.

Last fiscal year, the Department closed offices in five cities, saving $826,033 annually. Four additional offices are scheduled to be closed this year, with an additional savings of $502,000. In other cities across the state, we have also reduced the amount of leased office space as telecommuting increases. Currently, about 40 percent of the employees who handle public benefits are telecommuting, and our goal is to increase that to 75 percent. Our agency has saved a total of $6 million through cutting more than 350,000 square feet in leased office space since 2008.

Any resident in need of assistance can apply online from any computer at For those who need help applying, there are now more ACCESS community partners than ever before. To find an organization in your neighborhood, check this list: