What's next for DCF? - WFLA News Channel 8

What's next for DCF?

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David Wilkins David Wilkins

Florida's Department of Children and Families will get a new leader as it deals with the death of several children known to the agency and undergoes changes to the way it operates.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced DCF Secretary David Wilkins' resignation this week, saying Wilkins was leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector and "provide more attention to his foundation."

Scott appointed Esther Jacobo as interim DCF secretary. Jacobo recently served as a regional managing director of DCF for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Wilkins' resignation comes in the wake of several child deaths in South Florida and Fort Myers that have raised questions about DCF decisions regarding placement and oversight of the children.

"This is an opportunity for the agency to reassess where it's at right now," said Robin Rosenberg, deputy director of Florida's Children First.

Rosenberg said she is concerned by the agency's reaction to recent events.

"There will be child deaths, but the question is how is the agency responding and what took place behind the scenes that maybe led to the decisions that were being made," she said.

The resignation comes as DCF is adopting a new "Safety Decision Making Methodology" it refers to as "transformation." DCF says the new plan will help child protection investigators to determine if a child is safe.

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