News Release: Governor's Press Office
June 23, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Rick Scott announced he has signed Senate Bill 1666 which strengthens laws and increases resources to protect children from abuse and neglect.
Governor Scott said, “As a father and a grandfather, the safety of Florida’s children is a top priority. That’s why this session we succeeded in creating 270 additional child protective investigators, so we can decrease caseloads and provide our servants in the field the support they need to ensure we’re doing everything possible to protect our children. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from abuse and neglect, and these reforms and targeted investments will better enable our child welfare servants to do their job.”
The reforms signed into law today establish a new Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare at DCF, create a “Critical Incident Rapid Response Team” to quickly investigate child abuse deaths where the child was known to the child welfare system, strengthen provisions relating to safety plans for children who have been abused or neglected and codifies that the foremost goal of the department is to protect the best interest of children.
“The goal of this bipartisan legislation is to build on our more than $1.3 billion existing commitment to child welfare through targeted policies that aim to prevent child deaths due to maltreatment, to learn from tragedies we cannot prevent, and to expand the resources needed to help families stay whole and healthy,” said Senate President Don Gaetz.