Over the past four years, Florida has embarked on what the New York Times referred to as a radical transformation of our child welfare program. Working with our community-based care partners, we have used the flexibility provided by a statewide child welfare demonstration waiver to dramatically reduce out-of-home care while increasing safety. We have also seen record-setting numbers of adoptions and guardianships.
When I came to the department in January 2007 as assistant secretary, implementation of the waiver was in its very early stages. For the past two years, as secretary, I have continued to make this a key focus of our child welfare program.
My most trusted teachers and advisers have been the children and …