2 Top DCF Officials Resign

By: AP
By: AP

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) --

Two high level executives are among a handful who resigned from the Department of Children and Families after the agency has come under scrutiny in recent weeks over the death of a 10-year-old foster girl at the hands of her adoptive parents.

It is common for agency heads to submit resignations under a new
administration. On Friday, Secretary David Wilkins accepted the
resignations of Walter Cook, who headed the agency's embattled
abuse hotline. The hotline has been criticized in recent years for
screening out calls that should have been investigated.

Chief of staff, Jason Dimitris, and assistant secretary of
programs, David Fairbanks, were also let go.

Wilkins signaled changes for the hotline and announced plans to
"redefine" child protective investigators.


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  • by Joanne Scaturro Location: Garner, NC on Mar 11, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    There is no administrator in the state of Florida who has more knowledge, ingenuity and character than David Fairbanks. As an administrator, he has initiated and supported programs that have saved lives and given thousands of children a chance at a quality life. I find your article offensive and demeaning to a person of impeccable integrity. You add to the endless misinformation about the plight of children from abusive backgrounds. If you want to be an advocate for children, tell the truth. Of course, it is so much more appealing to demean reputable people--it distracts from the unwillingness of Florida residents and media staff to make children a top priority. Florida has lost a courageous advocate for children. Just ask anyone that has had the fortunate experience of working with Dr. Fairbanks.
  • by Voice of Experience Location: Anonymous on Mar 10, 2011 at 06:49 PM
    The lives saved,hundreds of accomplishments, sacrifices of so many hard working personnel never make headlines. Even national awards are never on the front page. Good luck to the new personnel with no one to learn from, no available training, loss of institutional memory and experiencing the negative impact on morale of employees having looked up to and been inspired by highly competent and caring leadership--Bob Butterworth & George Sheldon created pride in those working on behalf of the state's most vulnerable. No one can prevent all human tragedy. But poor decision-making, at every level, can certainly increase the chances of multiple failures.
  • by BJ Location: Tallahassee on Mar 9, 2011 at 09:26 PM
    I do not work for DCF but I could not pass on this one. Some people should just read these stories and move on instead of all these stupid comments. Let me start with Lana's lil smart self. The trainers for the DCF Hotline are from outside and they do not work for the agency. So you really did not have any facts before you made a comment. Now for the other bit of information, the DCF abuse employees are very well educated with Bachelor's and Master's degrees. So before you always talk about people why don't you get the facts and let them speak for themselves. There are problems every where you go in State Gov't and the private sector as I have worked in both. Now is all of this stuff really necessary. Some people in State Gov't work hard and some don't. However, you find the same thing in the private companies.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2011 at 03:38 PM
    Walk in their shoes and then you have earned the ability to run your mouths. Until then none of you know what you are talking about. Protective Investigator’s and Hotline Counselors make huge sacrifices. These sacrifices affect their own families and personal lives. They work hard for little in return. There are limits that none of you are aware of. It is easy to point the finger standing on the other side.
  • by need a job on Mar 9, 2011 at 05:51 AM
    It didn't hurt my feelings about the 2 of them leaving there should be more if they would look closer they would see they have more high paying managers most of them are one's that came back after drop. This agency has more dippers then any other they need to leave and let others have a job Scott could easily get about 400 new jobs if he would come in and take those out.One of the one that just resigned was one of them.
  • by fujow Location: tallahassee on Mar 9, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    @america is gone forever Yes, it certainly is if the myopic, zenophobic, small minded way of thinking were to take hold. Unfortunately for you, America was never a country set aside only for whilte middle aged men and it never will be. If you can't learn to accept other "ethnic" groups then, sadly, your creating your own misery.
  • by Why? Location: Tallahassee. on Mar 9, 2011 at 05:30 AM
    When you put a bunch of Chowder Heads on a call center of any kind you are going to have problems. And from what I can tell based on reading others posts most people cannot spell and their grammer is a joke. So that is what they need to expect.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2011 at 03:18 AM
    @: Anonymous on Mar 8, 2011 at 08:32 PM, yeah that will help the issue. Great. Glad to see the "all or nothing" mentality is alive and well. (Please note the "hint" of sarcasm.) DCF DOES provide invaluable service, regardless of your close-minded beliefs, and those services should not be cut off completely due to incompetence on a higher level. What needed to happen did happen, (i.e. resignations) let's move on. Shutting that agency down would also close the door to hope for a lot of kids stuck in bad situations. Novel concept for you: try being a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
  • by Lana Location: S.Florida on Mar 8, 2011 at 06:59 PM
    I think this is a good start.Sec. Wilkins and his team should also invest in a change in training for abuse hotline counselors. We need professional people who use correct English grammar!! DCF needs professional hotline trainers recruited from OUTSIDE of this agency!
  • by america is gone forever Location: free trade is good for america--george bush. on Mar 8, 2011 at 06:35 PM
    no government agency in america is worth 2 cents. you got to hire people for different reasons because of ethnic backgrounds wether they are qualified for the job or not.
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