This story was updated 3/9 with a response from the DCF spokesman.

State-mandated changes in safe sleep practices for infants in licensed Florida day care centers are irking Jacksonville caregivers and parents alike.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval and Nassau County residents waited in long lines outside for many hours in the Regency Square Mall parking lot Wednesday in hopes of getting help with buying food through special disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance.

gay pride flag
Ted Eytan / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Children and Families is under fire for backing off of part a proposal that would protect LGBT kids who live in group homes from discrimination — including so-called "conversion therapy" aimed at changing their sexual orientation.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

People in the northwest area of Jacksonville will now have more access to health care.

The Schell-Sweet Community Healthcare Clinic on Edward Waters College campus offers services tailored to its surrounding community.


Two reports presented to lawmakers last week criticized the Florida Department of Children and Families for poor oversight of the privatized agencies that deliver child-welfare, substance-abuse and mental-health services statewide.

The reports arrived as the Legislature is considering further changes to all those services.

The Florida Office of the Auditor General published its findings last month and reviewed them Thursday with members of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

Family of Phoebe Jonchuck / Facebook

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families told lawmakers Wednesday that the state abuse hotline screened out not one but two calls about potential danger to 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck — with the first call a week before her death in the waters of Tampa Bay.

Florida Department of Children and Families

The secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families on Thursday told a Senate panel his agency has made progress in carrying out a new child-protection law that came after a series of highly publicized child deaths.

In particular, Secretary Mike Carroll told the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee that the department has surpassed the law's requirement to post new child-fatality reports online.

He said six years' worth of data has been posted on every death reported to the state child-abuse hotline during that time.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Child welfare officials are creating a new position within their agency, vowing to improve transparency of child abuse death records.

lilbubs / Instagram

Representatives of Florida's child welfare agency gave few details on their ongoing investigation into a recent viral video depicting apparent child abuse.

The clip shows a young child  being kicked off a half-pipe at Kona Skate Park in Jacksonville.

Rhema Thompson / WJCT

A long-time veteran of Florida’s embattled Department of Children and Families will be taking the reins, at least for the time being.

Food trucks, the Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority , and Jameis Winston are in the headlines today.

It’s the region of town with the highest rates of poverty, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, unemployment and violent crime.

The 32209 zip code is a community in crisis, that's according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

An initiative is underway to change the conditions in 32209, particularly for the neighborhood’s kids.

DCF is spearheading an event Thursday at Edward Waters College, called "Community of Hope."

ORLANDO (The News Service of Florida) — After a series of highly-publicized child deaths this summer, the new leader of the Florida Department of Children and Families, Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo, rallied child welfare professionals Wednesday at their annual conference in Orlando.

Jacobo, who took the temporary post last month after the abrupt resignation of former secretary David Wilkins, opened the three-day event by recognizing the controversy surrounding the department and vowing to rise to the challenge.

Upcoming Changes To Florida's Foster Care System

May 15, 2013

David Wilkins, the head of the Florida Department of Children and Families, says Florida is about to see “the most significant changes in the foster care system since Florida got a foster care system.”

More than 8,000 children are part of the foster system in Florida, and two pieces of legislation are about to change the kinds of opportunities available to them.

Tuesday, the Federal Government suspended the Jacksonville Urban League's management of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, citing potential health and safety risks for children and staff.

The decision came after Florida Department of Children and Families Northeast Regional Director David J. Abramowitz sent a letter to Urban League president Richard Danford, detailing a "consistent pattern of licensing violations indicating a disregard for the wellbeing of the children the facilities are to serve."