The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is a government organization run by the state of Florida that is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that every child within the state lives comfortably. Additionally, the state agency makes sure that every child within its jurisdiction is able to access adequate services concerning issues such as education and healthcare. In this way, the agency, developed in 1997 from the Health and Rehabilitative Services is in a way the guardian of Florida’s children. Its mandate entails the development of avenues through which the vulnerability, strength and economic self-sufficiency of families are ensured (Swanson, 2010). Moreover, the agency is tasked with improving the family and personal recovery of individuals with problems. As such, the DCF has taken up several roles within Florida that are related to the social services field in order to pursue its mission, coordinate activities involving children and families. Thus, the organization also deals with issues such as developing partnerships with local governments and other private entities in a bid to boost the scope and improve the efficiency of its services and programs.
The company has developed a large budget that is accounted for during the fiscal meetings involving budgetary allocations. On annual basis, the agency receives almost $3 billion where the program is included in areas such as foster care and adoption (Swanson, 2010). In this way, the organization ensures that stable families adopt children. Therefore, rather than focus on the well-being of children alone, the DCF is also involved in ensuring that individuals within its vicinity, that is, family members and children, have good mental health. It also focuses on ensuring that individuals with substance abuse problems have access to treatments available for each issue. People are also afforded food stamps to ensure that those within the state have access to food (Glassdoor, 2018).
It is also the responsibility of the agency to make sure that individuals within the state, that is, families and children have access to affordable Medicaid options. The organizations’ workers, thus, provide individuals with information on the best possible Medicaid programs to choose from as they ensure that the premiums paid do not exceed a family’s budget and cover the most essential of treatments for these individuals. In this way, DCF makes sure that individuals do not go bankrupt within its jurisdiction from medical expenses seeing that they have been seen as a major cause of bankruptcy in the USA. Furthermore, rather than Medicaid, the agency also offers other financial assistance programs that are availed to eligible people (Glassdoor, 2018).
Furthermore, it is important to note that a family with instability issues such as lack of employment or substance abuse by one of the parents or guardians leads to more risks being propagated to the children. In this manner, issues such as catastrophic illness, loss of income, incarceration and divorce are harmful to the development of children. Therefore, they can lead to various disruptions in the manner that individuals within the family operate, that is, the quality of life for these people differs from previous eras. It is also highly likely that the fragility of these families increases as they are at-risk and facing various problems. This leads to the conclusion that regardless of the disruptions experienced by parents involving poverty, neglect or abuse, a child is better suited to growing up in a stable home with parents that have alleviated these issues from the child’s life (Glassdoor, 2018). Therefore, for a child to evidence healthy traits in the future, they should also be provided with a healthy family. Such an environment will lead to the child being socially and emotionally healthy. They will also have high educational aspirations, remain drug-free, and evidence physical health.
It is important to note the role of DCF as it works hard in ensuring that families and their children have healthy lives. In order to make sure that children and families live well, the organization has various service provisions that include assistance provided to families where the agency aims at making sure that they remain safely together. In other instances, where the situation has led to a separation between families, the organization does its best to reunite them while fostering care to the youth and young adults as they seek to transition to independence from foster care (Miller, 2018).
The DCF is also involved in partnerships with courts, local communities and tribes in order to make sure that children in these places live in a safe environment. Moreover, they should be located in a place that could be considered as timely permanent. This ensures that they grow in a stable environment and thus can develop relationships easily and develop various competencies that are necessary for a good upbringing. In this manner, individuals who are tasked by the DCF through its Welfare Programs designed for children are required to supervise, conduct and administer programs that are developed for dependent children and individuals tasked with the responsibility of taking care of them (Glassdoor, 2018).
The goals developed for Child Welfare Programs are geared towards protecting children where the state of these individuals is determined as either dependent or independent where services provided include the determination of whether children are in need of alternative living arrangements (Swanson, 2010). It is also necessary to determine whether such arrangements should be considered as emergencies. Moreover, the agency aims at preventing children from being separated from their families or in the cases where the family is split, it will use its power to reunite the family and make sure that the child is well-adapted to living under these conditions.
- Glassdoor. (2018). Working at Florida Department of Children and Families. Retrieved from https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Florida-Department-of-Children-and-Families-EI_IE41788.11,54.htm
- Miller, D. (2018, April 12). Safe Campus To Help Young Sex Trafficking Victims Heal. Retrieved from http://health.wusf.usf.edu/term/florida-department-children-and-families
- Swanson, K. (2010). 2010-2014 child and family services plan. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e516632010-003