Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Chad Poppell today issued the following statement to coincide with the agency’s termination of contract with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV):
“The signing of HB 1087 marks a long-overdue victory for domestic violence survivors. For almost two years, DCF has been attempting to investigate FCADV and bring light to the organization’s dishonest, deceptive, and dismissive ways. Now, thanks to the dedication of our legislative leaders, we have the means to cut all contractual ties to FCADV and do what’s right for the brave Floridians who have survived domestic violence.
I’m extremely grateful to Governor DeSantis. Throughout this process, he has proven his commitment to restoring justice for domestic violence survivors, while still prioritizing their safety and wellbeing.
To Speaker Oliva, I’d like to convey my most sincere appreciation. When he directed the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee to investigate FCADV, it was a clear turning point, and through his leadership, he continues to bring light to the organization’s fraudulent and potentially criminal activity. I look forward to working closely with him in the coming weeks.
President Galvano’s strong support is also recognized – he streamlined the passage of the legislation that allowed us to take this monumental step forward as quickly as possible.
My final note of thanks is for Senator Bean and Representative Fernandez-Barquin. Without their advocacy and passion for DCF’s mission, we would not be standing here today.
With this contract termination and the ongoing investigation of FCADV, our motivation and complete focus was, is, and will remain on the continuation of life-saving domestic violence services – we will not lose sight of that.
Now that the DCF is in the appropriate posture, we will communicate openly and regularly with providers throughout the state, allowing them to voice their concerns, share their input, and provide for a smooth and orderly transition of Florida’s domestic violence system of care. In short, DCF intends to stabilize the provider network, assume operational and financial control, and competitively rebid for services in the next 12 to 18 months.
But our work won’t stop there. FCADV conducted business without the expected level of integrity and transparency, preventing us from holding them accountable. Through the efforts of the Governor, the House, and the Senate, we can begin to hold them fully accountable – and we will.”