DCF Press Release


State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Sarrah Troncoso
July 2, 2008 (850) 488-4855

Children and Families to Launch “Operation Do Drop In”
~Department Leadership visit foster care group homes around the state to see how children are served ~


FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Leadership of the Department of Children and Families paid an unannounced visit to a foster care group home in Broward County last week as part of the Department’s new initiative “Operation Do Drop In.” This initiative is focused on seeing first hand how residential group homes are providing timely and effective services, including safety, permanency and well-being for youth in foster care.

Leadership plans to make one unannounced visit a month, dropping in on a different region each time. Children’s Legal Services Statewide Director Mary Cagle was the facilitator and will conduct similar checks on foster care group homes throughout the state. Through this new initiative the Department hopes to find that residential group homes are providing the quality care to children living in residential group settings.

During the first visit, Operation Do Drop In team members spoke to staff and youth living in the facility, reviewed program documents and resident case files. Cagle was joined by Family Safety personnel, Regional Quality Assurance members, and a ChildNet representative, the lead community based care agency for Broward County. Team members also checked visitor logs and evaluated the environment of the facility and surrounding location for any safety concerns.

“Secretary Butterworth feels that it is essential for leadership in the Department to have face to face contact with youth in out of home care,” said Mary Cagle. “This initiative is not to second guess our community partners or our quality assurance staff; it is to take an opportunity to talk with the youth and ensure they are on their way to thriving as an adult.”

Operation Do Drop In will evaluate foster care group homes, prepare a briefing and make any necessary recommendations to the Circuit Administrator and the community-based care lead agency. The Department conducts quality assurance reviews and monitors contracts, but this Operation takes accountability one step further by visiting residential facilities to make sure group homes are providing quality care to foster youths.

For more information about the Department of Children and Families, visit http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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