Five State Agencies Become Champions for Florida’s Children
Sep 29, 2008
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today, September 29, 2008, announced the designation of “champions” for Florida children served by the state’s health and human service agencies.
These “champions” are representatives from state agencies who have signed an interagency agreement to coordinate services for children served by more than one agency.
Leaders of the following five state agencies have signed the agreement pledging their commitment to reducing unnecessary delays in assistance and services for children and youth:
- Florida Department of Children and Families
- Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
- Florida Department of Health
- Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
- Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities
A copy of the interagency agreement is attached for your review.
The press release from the Office of Governor Charlie Crist is reprinted below.
Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Frank Mayernick, Jr. at Colodny Fass.
Lt. Governor Announces “Champions for Children” Interagency Agreement
Five state agencies pledge their commitment to better serving Florida’s youth
TALLAHASSEE – Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today announced the designation of “champions” for Florida children who are served by the state’s health and human service agencies. Five state agencies serving children and youth signed an agreement, pledging their commitment to reducing unnecessary delays in assistance and services. Leaders of the departments of Children and Families, Juvenile Justice, Health, as well as the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, signed the agreement.
The agreement is one of several recommendations to come from the Children and Youth Cabinet, created by Governor Charlie Crist in 2007 to promote collaboration and more efficient services among state agencies and organizations that deliver child welfare services.
“Florida’s youngest, most vulnerable residents depend on these agencies for help and care, and it is imperative that they have someone championing their cause,” said Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, chair of the Children and Youth Cabinet. “This agreement illustrates that our agencies are working together to ensure Florida’s youth get the resources they need.”
The agreement identifies “champions” within each agency to ensure the coordination of services and improved communication among all agencies involved in a child’s care. The champions, agency employees, will be empowered when urgent attention is needed to address challenges to providing services. The agreement also requires each of the participating agencies to align their policies and procedures for clients receiving services from multiple agencies. This level of coordination will ensure each child receives the maximum benefit of services.
In addition, the agreement establishes local review teams from among the state agencies’ local offices. The teams will meet regularly to review local procedures, and to determine how best to serve clients in their communities. A team of state officials headquartered in Tallahassee, dubbed the Rapid Response Team, also will help champions reach solutions when necessary.
About the Children and Youth Cabinet
Governor Crist established Florida’s 20-member Children and Youth Cabinet in 2007. Lt. Governor Kottkamp serves as chairman. Members include the secretaries of the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Agency for Health Care Administration, as well as the directors of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Other members include the State Surgeon General, the Commissioner of Education, the director of the Guardian ad Litem Office and the Chief Child Advocate. Additionally, the Governor appointed five members from around the state who are representatives of children and youth advocacy organizations, but who are not service providers. Also serving on the Cabinet are Representative Loranne Ausley and Senator Nan Rich, sponsors of the legislation creating the Children and Youth Cabinet.