State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Al Zimmerman
February 2, 2007 850-488-4855

GOVERNOR CRIST AND LT. GOVERNOR KOTTKAMP ANNOUNCE 2007-08 CHILDREN AND
FAMILIES BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS


~Proposal calls for improvements in mental health treatment services, adoption promotion and protection for
Florida's families~


         TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist and Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp unveiled today their 2007-08 budget recommendations, earmarking significant funding for Florida's most vulnerable citizens served through the Department of Children and Families.

         "The Governor's recommended budget reflects this administration's commitment to caring for our children, families and by extension our communities," said Children and Families Secretary Robert A. Butterworth. "The recommended funding will expand the assistance Florida's families' count on and allow the Department to raise the bar in terms of service, accountability and partnership with those dedicated to protecting and promoting the most vulnerable among us."

         The Crist/Kottkamp budget for 2007-08 addresses three critical priorities for the Department: personal and family recovery and resiliency, public safety and devotion to the protection of vulnerable children and elders, and the promotion of adoption and independent living for those children searching for their forever families or transitioning into adulthood.

RECOVERY AND RESILIENCY:

         Mental Health Treatment Funding, $78.9 million,
to provide mental health treatment services throughout the state, funding much needed forensic mental health treatment beds and providing communities with the resources they need to offer early treatment and key intervention services.

ADOPTION AND INDEPENDENT LIVING:

         Adoption Subsidies, $19.97 million,
to provide funding to increase the adoption subsidy rate to $5,000 annually for children adopted out of state care until the children reach the age of 18, and create an adoption subsidy rate of $3,000 annually for up to the first three years of adoption for private adoptions.

         Independent Living Program, $9.3 million, to provide adequate services to teens and young adults aging out of foster care, and ensuring a successful transition to adulthood.

PUBLIC SAFETY:

         Sheriffs Protective Investigations, $3.8 million,
to bolster the resources of law enforcement organizations partnering with the Department to conduct child protective investigations in their communities, including an additional $1.1 million to Citrus County for the transition of child protective investigations from the Department to local law enforcement.

         Adult Protective Investigators, $3.2 million, to continue to respond quickly and efficiently to allegations of neglect, exploitation or abuse against Florida's elders.

         Sexually Violent Predator Program, $3.7 million, will allow for additional capacity in the program, and more timely and thorough evaluations of persons in state custody identified for potential commitment to the state.

         Florida Abuse Hotline, $2.2 million, to increase hotline capacity in order to quickly and thoroughly respond to the growing number of abuse reports throughout the state.

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


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