Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

January 25, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Stookey,
Northwest Region Communications Director
(850) 509-2675


PANAMA CITY – The Department of Children and Families' West 11th Street Service Center will close on Friday, January 27, 2012. The office will be relocated to 2505 West 15th Street in Panama City. The new office will open for business Monday, January 30. .

Included in the move are ACCESS Florida, adult protective services, child care licensing, substance abuse and mental health, and regional and circuit administration. Child protective investigations and Children's Legal Services will remain in the 500 West 11th Street location until those programs are relocated in February with DCF's lead child welfare agency, Big Bend Community Based Care, on Harrison Avenue.

The move is part of a statewide effort in reducing the amount of leased building space to save taxpayer dollars by increasing telecommuting and community partnerships. DCF will save more than $1 million this year by training employees to telecommute and reducing building space.

Currently, more than 90 percent of public benefit recipients statewide apply online for food assistance, Medicaid, and cash assistance. Any resident in need of assistance can apply online from any computer at

ACCESS Florida customers who use the center at West 11th Street can find assistance at the new site or through any one of the 29 Community Partner sites throughout Bay County. To locate a site near you, go to

The DCF ACCESS Community Partner program was created to engage communities in helping families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Community Partners assist clients with online applications for food assistance, Medicaid, and temporary cash assistance.

Current ACCESS Florida customers can view their current benefit status, make changes to their account, and upload documentation to verify their income and other required information by registering for My ACCESS Account at Clients can also call the Customer Call Center at (866) 762-2237.

On-site interviews can be arranged for media wishing to cover this story on Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. CST with Community Development Administrator Courtney Peel.

Surplus office equipment and furniture will be donated to other state agencies, as well as Calhoun County Schools and Sunland Hospital in Marianna.