Department of Children and Families Continues to Strengthen Florida Families with Vital Funding

Press release from Florida Department of Children and Families

With funding in the 2021-2022 budget signed by Governor DeSantis today, Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris highlights key funding secured to strengthen Florida families, enhance access to life-changing behavioral health services, and provide individuals with the necessary assistance to achieve economic independence.

“Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis have been advocates for our programs to support Floridians since the start of this administration,” said DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris. “I am grateful to have their continued partnership so we can provide additional services and protections to help build more resilient families across our state.”

Secretary Harris highlighted several budget wins that will benefit the children and families of Florida through DCF’s services and oversight:

Increasing Safety and Care for Florida’s Children

$30 million to add support for children in foster care

  • Adds enhanced, specialized investigations and protections for children who have been victims of sexual abuse
  • Provides additional support for young adults who are exiting foster care to live independently
  • Expands services to children and families after an adoption from foster care
  • Implements a new kinship navigator program to help grandparents and other family members best meet the needs of children in their care

$3.9 million to ensure the safety and well-being of infants affected by substance misuse

  • Deploys evidence-based services for substance-affected newborns and their families

Helping Floridians Reach Economic Independence

$2 million for employment services for SNAP customers

  • Supports Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program employment and training to help Floridians receiving public assistance benefits address barriers to employment through career-related training, job placement, and job retention services

Enhancing Support for Floridians with Mental Health and Substance Use Needs

$158.4 million for the State Opioid Response Grant

  • Addresses the national opioid epidemic by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment for Floridians struggling with opioid misuse
  • Increases prevention, treatment, and recovery activities to help residents overcome opioid and stimulant use disorder

$1.4 million in continued funding for residents affected by Hurricane Michael

  • Continues vital behavioral health services for Floridians rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Michael

$3 million to allow 211 to expand mental health supports

  • Grows capacity among Florida’s integral 211 provider network to expand coordination initiatives for mental health services