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Florida's Fight For Forever Families

Prior to the state senate’s holiday break last month, Wilton Simpson, then-Senate President-designate from Trilby, filed what he considers his “centerpiece legislation.” For adoptive parents seeking a less complicated process, it was welcome news, if not an early Christmas present.

A Commitment to Protecting Vulnerable Children

The “DCF Accountability Act” would create an Office of Quality Assurance and Improvement within the Department of Children and Families. Overseeing the operations would be a Chief Quality Officer would whose job it is to ensure the highest standards in protecting what many see as Florida’s most vulnerable children.

For Simpson, establishing improved adoption processes is his “centerpiece” legislation that comes with an emotional connection.  He was a child of adoption at the tender age of six. He simply feels that DCF can do better by employing a more then-Senate approach to make the lives of young adoptees better.

Simpson believes that passage of the bill bringing improved, less onerous systems would see one-half of the 33,000 children currently in foster care adopted into permanent homes.

Additional Support Spurs Momentum

Rep. Josie Tomkow of Polk City filed equally personal companion legislation. Her motivation was in response to her grandparents having custody of two children only to see them placed back in their previous home.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis have also announced their support. Florida’s chief executive has been a longtime supporter of systemic improvements in the adoption process. He declared November as National Adoption Month and signed “A Year is a Long Time in the Life of a Child Act” to speed up the adoption of foster children.

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