2,600 Child Welfare Workers Gather in Orlando
Child welfare workers will learn to implement legislative reforms during a summit that starts Wednesday in Orlando. Florida legislators passed the reform law this year after learning hundreds of children have died while under DCF's care.
Organizers expect record attendance at the annual Department of Children and Families Child Protection Summit. More than 2,600 DCF staff, community-care workers and experts from across the state plan to attend.
DCF Spokesperson Alexis Lambert says sessions will help workers implement Florida's new Child Welfare Act. But, she adds, reform can't just be top-down.
"We are doing everything we can to protect our state's most vulnerable, and that really does mean partnerships," she says. "We need all the partners in the community to join in that effort – not just those in child welfare – but individuals in our community who work with vulnerable families."
The new act increases funding and oversight for the department, but some advocates worry it's not enough. They say DCF's new interim secretary must bring a fresh approaching to protecting children.
More on the DCF Child Protection Summit is here.