DCF Press Release


State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:Sarrah Troncoso
February 18, 2008 (850) 488-4855



New Director of Children’s Legal Services Appointed in Northeast Region
~ George Beckwith to serve as the Northeast Regional Director for Children’s Legal Services ~



TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth has appointed George P. Beckwith to serve as the Regional Director of the Children’s Legal Services for the Department’s Northeast Region. The Northeast Region incorporates 4 circuits and 20 counties, including Jacksonville, Gainesville and Daytona Beach. The Department’s Children’s Legal Services division includes 350 attorneys statewide who work with children and families in the dependency system.

“George’s institutional knowledge and depth of experience will prove invaluable as he continues to serve Northeast Florida,” said Secretary Butterworth. “He has provided the Department a great service in Circuit 7 as the Chief Legal Counsel since 2003, and I’m positive he will continue to guide the entire region with actions that promote the safety of those we protect.”

Children’s Legal Services is comprised of the Department’s front line attorneys who work with judges, law enforcement, foster parents, guardians and community-based care agencies around the state to provide services for vulnerable children and families. The statewide Director of Children’s Legal Services, Mary Cagle, has been forming a leadership team since she was hired in September of 2007.

“I am thrilled to have George on board as our Children's Legal Services Northeast Region Director. He is an extremely talented attorney and has demonstrated his effectiveness as Chief Legal Counsel in Circuit 7,” said Mary Cagle. “With his knowledge of the Department and experience as a prosecutor he understands the new vision being implemented in Children's Legal Services. I’m confident he’ll see great success.”

“I look forward to the opportunity to draw upon my years of experience with the Department to continue to raise the level of professionalism and competence of our legal staff,” said Beckwith. “Together with our community-based partners, we will make our agency a world class organization,” said George Beckwith.

Beckwith obtained his Bachelors degree from Northeastern University and later graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a law degree in 1989. He began as a law clerk working in defense litigation, but soon became a prosecutor for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Beckwith began his career with the Department in 1993 and is a recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Performance and the winner of several Davis Productivity Awards.

For more information about the programs and services offered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, visit www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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