State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
May 29, 2007 850-488-4855

Governor Crist's 2007-2008 Budget Focuses on Protecting Children and Families
- 2007-08 spending plan includes adoption incentives, improvements in community mental health
treatment and assistance for victims of human trafficking -


Tallahassee, Fla.- Governor Charlie Crist signed Florida's 2007-08 budget, allocating $2.98 billion for the Department of Children and Families. The funding will strengthen supports for adoptive families and help the state protect Florida's vulnerable children and adults, persons with mental illness and victims of human trafficking and domestic violence.

"I applaud Governor Crist and the Florida Legislature for approaching this year's session with an obvious commitment to protecting and providing for Florida's vulnerable children and families," said Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth. "Their work has allowed us to enhance services and care for thousands of at-risk children and adults statewide."

The 2007-08 budget addresses the three components of Department's mission: Protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency. Highlights of mission-critical programs are as follows:

COMMUNITY BASED CARE

Community-Based Care Equity, $6.1 million, to move toward equity funding for the community-based care (CBC) lead agencies. Currently, CBC lead agencies are funded at varying levels largely due to historical differences in their base allocations.

RECOVERY AND RESILIENCY

Mental Health Treatment Funding, $57.5 million, to provide mental health treatment services throughout the state, funding the continuation of much needed forensic mental health treatment beds. The total allocation includes $4 million that is specifically earmarked as grant dollars for community mental health early treatment and intervention services.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Sheriff's Protective Investigations, $1.1 million, to complete the transition of child protective investigations from the Department to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

Protective Investigations Training, $1.5 million, which will provide protective investigators with additional training aimed at increasing working knowledge of investigative techniques and skill sets.

Victims of Human Trafficking, $453,600, to provide access to state-funded social services for immigrant survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes, while awaiting processing for federal benefits.

Healthy Families Expansion, $2.2 million, to provide for the expansion of the Healthy Families Florida program to 14 un-served counties. Healthy Families is a proven program that provides families with the services they need, preventing child abuse before it ever occurs.

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


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