Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

March 15, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Gillespie,
Press Secretary,
(850) 717-4450
DCF Communications

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Fourteen individuals and 41 teams at the Department of Children and Families were honored today with the announcement of the 2012 Prudential-Davis Productivity Awards for better serving children, vulnerable adults and families and saving taxpayers’ money at the same time.

"Our employees are experts at finding better, smarter ways to do their jobs and help those in need across Florida," said Secretary David Wilkins. "We want the public to know that we are responsible with their money. I am very proud of all of the employees who were recognized today."

Some of the initiatives that won honors include:

  • Reducing the number of days it takes to provide assistance to relative caregivers, such as grandparents taking care of their grandchildren. A four-member team based in Tampa was able to reduce the number of days that these caregivers were waiting for financial help from 61 days to 18 days. This enabled these relatives to have the resources they needed to take care of these children and keep them out of foster care.
  • Secured almost $5 million in federal funding to help refugees resettle in Florida. To receive the funding, refugee services staff undertook a concerted effort to better count the refugee population in Florida, which was underreported at the national level. This commitment of time and energy paid off with more services to help refugees find employment, learn English and assisted with medical and legal expenses.
  • Improved and accelerated substance abuse services to families in Daytona. The partnership of public and private agencies improved the access to services for parents in need of help and treatment for addiction. Helping parents get treatment sooner also reduced the length of time their children were in foster care.
  • Restructuring a contract payment method in Miami. A two-member team changed the payment method with the region’s Managing Entity for Substance Abuse and Mental Health to maximize the amount of state funds going directly to client services instead of administrative overhead.

Individual employees and teams won certificates, plaques and cash awards ranging from $200 to $700. The 2012 awards competition attracted 533 nominations for innovations and productivity improvements worth $509 million in cost savings, cost avoidances and increased revenue for state government. Over the past 24 years, award winners have posted a total of $7.6 billion in added value for Florida taxpayers and businesses.

Since 1989, the Davis Productivity Award program has publicly recognized and rewarded state employees and work units whose work significantly and measurably increases productivity and promotes innovation to improve the delivery of state services and save money for Florida taxpayers and businesses. The program is a major government improvement initiative chaired by Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll and co-sponsored by Florida TaxWatch, The Florida Council of 100, and the State of Florida.

The awards will be presented on June 1 at an Awards Luncheon Ceremony at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee. For more information and a list of all the awards, please go to