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State hopes military vets, ex-cops, can fill staff shortages at child-protection agency


The state has scheduled the first in a series of recruitment exercises to encourage military veterans to take jobs as child-protective investigators — a program intended to fit them into fulfilling work while relieving a shortage of workers within the Department of Children and Families.

The program is also open to military spouses and former police officers. Additionally, participants could prove suitable as case managers and mentors to other employees, officials believe.

“By recruiting candidates and mentors who have already succeeded in high-stress positions, we can build resiliency within our existing workforce, increase job retention, and enhance the caliber of services provided to the children and families of Florida,” Secretary Shevaun Harris said in announcing the initiative last month.

Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis appeared during an event called in late June to announce the program.

“We brought in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Children and Families to join together because Florida is the number one destination for veterans,” Ms. DeSantis said.

“So, we got to thinking: Why don’t we ask our great veterans to sign up to continue their service?”

The DCF has conceded that it has experienced challenges in hiring staff and wants to improve its services.

Some of the recruitment events will happen on military bases — here’s the full schedule — but the first is set for July 14 at DCF headquarters in Tallahassee between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The events will toggle between Tallahassee and the western Panhandle, home to a number of military bases, through July and August.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix, Florida, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Children and Families


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