TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFLA)- Florida’s Department of Children and Families says it is making progress in bringing down wait times for its abuse hotline. News Channel 8 reported on long wait times to get through to the hotline this spring. On some days, the average wait topped 20 minutes, and News Channel 8 received reports of waits as long as 30 minutes to an hour.
In data provided by DCF for the month of May, wait times appeared shorter than in previous months, with no 20-minute spikes. However, average wait time were still more than 10 minutes on seven days. The average time before a caller abandoned the call was often around five minutes or less.
“It’s certainly improved, but the question is: What structural changes have happened so that it won’t happen again?” asked St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell, a school social worker who says he had a 30-minute wait this spring. A DCF spokeswoman said in addition to filling its 17 hotline vacancies from earlier this year, the agency is using telecommuting to help handle call volume when there is an influx of calls. The wait times have further been reduced so far in June, she said, to an average of 3 minutes and 45 seconds. DCF has not released raw data for June.