OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Children and Families

What is the purpose of the department?

The Department of Children and Families works in partnership with local communities to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advance personal and family recovery and resiliency.

What services does the department provide?

The department organizes its activities around services for various client populations.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DEPARTMENT OF
ADMINISTRATION
PROGRAM: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
66,708,767
600.25
PROGRAM: SUPPORT SERVICES
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
61,875,922
232.00
SERVICES
PROGRAM: COMMUNITY SERVICES
COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
843,024,702
99.00
PROGRAM: ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM
ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY SERVICES
513,693,496
4,301.00
PROGRAM: FAMILY SAFETY PROGRAM
FAMILY SAFETY AND PRESERVATION SERVICES
1,531,928,523
3,676.00
PROGRAM: MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
376,411,009
3,144.50
TOTAL
3,393,642,419
12,052.75

Updates

The Department of Children and Families is responding to COVID-19, and as of June 2020, its response to the global pandemic has included: 

  • obtaining federal approval to implement Florida's Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, which will automatically issue benefits during the month of June to more than 2.1 million children who have temporarily lost access to free and reduced-price school meals during COVID-19-related school closures;
  • obtaining a $1.9 million emergency grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which will provide crisis counseling and other mental health support for Floridians impacted by COVID-19;
  • obtaining approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Florida's waiver to launch a pilot project allowing families to purchase groceries online with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card beginning April 21, 2020;
  • temporarily increasing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients' benefit amount to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size through May 2020; and
  • working with the Department of Health (DOH) to develop precautionary protocols for child welfare professions and adult protective investigators who may have to make in-person visits to ensure the safety of those vulnerable populations.

The department has a DCF COVID-19 Information website with links to the most recent updates pertaining to Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS), Child Care, Mental Health Treatment Facilities, Child Welfare, Office Closures, Adult Protective Services, and Press Releases

Family First Prevention Services Act.  The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) of 2018 made federal changes to child welfare financing to encourage states to transition to a prevention-focused model for their child welfare systems and increase the use of family foster homes for out-of-home care placements. Since 2018, the department has conducted a series of statewide engagement activities to obtain input from department regional and community-based care staff and other community partners to inform decision-making for policy and practice changes, educate stakeholders, and increase awareness of FFPSA provisions. The department also convened a statewide workgroup to analyze FFPSA requirements and submit recommendations to the department. The department continues to work in collaboration with community based care organizations and other community partners to educate stakeholders on the potential impact of FFPSA, conduct needs assessments, and plan key activities to implement both the FFPSA provisions and state initiatives.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.

Websites of Interest
DCF Quick Facts
Florida Institute for Child Welfare
Florida's Center for Child Welfare
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
American Public Human Services Association
Center for Law and Social Policy
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
National Center for Children in Poverty
Chronical of Social Change

Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan and Planning and Performance Measures, which reports the department's performance on external and internal measures for its various programs. The measures allow the user to view performance at both a statewide and geographic region level.

What are the applicable statutes?

Section 20.19, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Department of Children and Families

Website