DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
January 31, 2008 850-488-4855

Governor Crist and Lt. Governor Kottkamp Support Child and Family Services in Budget Recommendations
- Budget suggests increasing funding for Independent Living, homeless assistance, and providing critical services to those in dire straits -

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.- Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth applauded Governor Charlie Crist and Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today for their continued support for Florida’s vulnerable children and families through their 2008-09 budget recommendations. The Governor’s recommendations focus on the continued provision of vital services to Floridians during this tough economic time.

"The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s recommended budget reflects their commitment to maintaining the momentum we've achieved in transforming the Department into Florida's Action Agency," said Secretary Butterworth. "This funding will fuel our ongoing efforts to strengthen Florida’s substance abuse and mental health treatment systems, enhance protective services and programs for adults and children, and provide the technology resources necessary to properly care for our most vulnerable families."

The 2008-09 budget highlights three priorities for the Department:

Providing for vulnerable youth leaving the foster care system:

Independent Living Program, $16.9 million, to provide adequate services to teens and young adults aging out of foster care to ensure a successful transition to adulthood.

Adoption Subsidies, $15 million, to fund vital subsidies for families adopting children from the state’s foster care system.

Providing housing alternatives:

Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing, $1.3 million, to provide services for families faced with the threat of losing their homes.

Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care Homeless Grants, $2 million, to provide housing and rent subsidies to assist youth in achieving independence.

Addressing critical workload and service needs:

Technology for Child & Adult Protective Investigators, $10 million, to implement state-of-the art child location and visitation tracking technology.

Violent Sexually Predator Program, $4.3 million, necessary to allow for the continued evaluation and treatment of those committed to the Florida Civil Commitment Center.

Juvenile Incompetent to Proceed, $3.2 million, to meet the needs of the growing juvenile population charged with crimes but determined not competent to stand trial.

Economic Self-Sufficiency Staff, $5 million for 150 additional full-time employees to address the growing need for the intake and processing of public assistance applications throughout the state.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health, $19.8 million, to strengthen community mental health and substance abuse treatment services throughout the state.

For more information, visit www.myflorida.com or http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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