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Legislative Link
A legislative update provided by the United Way of Florida
 
CALL TO ACTION: Healthy Families Florida         APRIL 14, 2014
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Hello Legislative Link Reader ...

 

Last Friday's Legislative Link reported on a Child Death Trend analysis that concluded "prior in-home services reduce a child's odds of death by 90%", and went on to talk about Healthy Families Florida (HFF), a voluntary home visiting program with extraordinary results in eliminating abuse and neglect.

The Legislative Link article, titled "Reduce Child Deaths by 90%!" (see below), noted that "Legislative Conferees are in the process of determining whether to accept the House proposal to increase funding for HFF by $4.5 million, or to maintain current year funding as proposed by the Senate."

Clarification: The Senate maintains current year base funding, which does not include $3 million in non-recurring funds in this year's budget.   Consequently the Senate proposal actually reduces funding for HFF by $3 million.  See the benefits of HFF.

CALL TO ACTION:


Legislators are at home this week for the Passover and Easter holidays.  Please contact your legislators at their district offices and:
  • Urge Senators to "Accept the House position on Healthy Families Florida!"
  • Ask Representatives to "Maintain the House position on Healthy Families Florida!"

   

  
Of particular importance, please contact:

Reduce Child Deaths by 90%!


Earlier this year, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) released a Child Fatality Trend Analysis Report.  The comprehensive study identifies major factors contributing to child deaths from abuse and neglect in Florida and concludes that "prior in-home services reduce a child's odds of death by 90%".

A rigorous third party evaluation has found that 98 percent of children in families served by Healthy Families Florida (HFF) were free from abuse and neglect one year after program completion, and last year DCF found that 95 percent of children completing the program were still free from abuse and neglect three years later.  Read more about this voluntary home visiting program.

Legislative Conferees are in the process of determining whether to accept the House proposal to increase funding for HFF by $4.5 million, or to maintain current year funding as proposed by the Senate.

A priority of the 2014 Legislature is to address the failures of Florida's child protection system.  The United Way of Florida urges the legislature to accept the House position to increase funding for HFF, so potential abuse and neglect is avoided before children ever have to be touched by that system.
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