Heart of Florida United Way and community leaders are looking forward to a new promised collaboration between Central Florida and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). That’s the result of a meeting facilitated by United Way in which area child advocates had a chance to meet DCF interim secretary Mike Carroll. Carroll, a 24-year DCF veteran, was appointed as interim secretary last April by Governor Rick Scott. Prior to his appointment, he was DCF Suncoast regional director.
In his meeting with leaders here, Carroll stressed that the department was a partner with the local community and that he looked forward to working with Central Florida to promote child safety and well-being. They agreed to a new alliance to benefit children and families, and discussed ways to overcome barriers they may confront. The visit provided an opportunity for Carroll to learn about key innovative community initiatives, including United Way’s recent Children’s Summits. He took special note on the Summit discussions, asked to be kept informed about upcoming Summits and suggested that they could develop into a model for other Florida communities.
Carrol’s DCF record includes implementing a new program called Rapid Safety Feedback, which was created to better flag potential child safety threats in his previous district. Additionally, he has said DCF needs to find ways to lighten investigator workloads so that they can do a better job of protecting the state’s children.