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Child Advocate: Should Permanent Florida DCF Chief Come From Within the Agency?

As Florida Gov. Rick Scott mulls the naming of his next permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, the post invariably will require someone up to the rigors and demands of the job. After all, dozens of children have died while under DCF watch. This leaves some to wonder whether the governor should look outside the agency – or first consider someone already there.

The post will be difficult to fill also because the term could be short, depending on outcome of the 2014 election.

Howard Talenfeld, a children’s rights lawyer and child advocacy attorney, and president of the watchdog group Florida’s Children First, admitted to a reporter recently that filling the post creates “a huge challenge” in “getting a quality secretary who would not have even a year to serve.”

Maybe the answer can be found within the agency, Talenfeld said. “”I would be hopeful that the department looks at some of the people who are there. There are some quality folks.”

Read the entire story and interview here.

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