DCF Earns $40 Million in Federal Bonuses Since 2008 For High-Performing Adoption and Food Stamp Programs

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Department of Children of Families Awarded $5.7 Million This Month for Increasing Adoptions of Foster Children

After receiving a federal bonus this week for increasing adoptions of children in foster care, employees of the Florida Department of Children and Families have earned $40 million in federal bonuses over the past three years for consistently leading the nation in the areas of increasing adoptions and accurately administering food stamp benefits.

“Bringing $40 million to Florida in federal bonuses proves that our state’s public servants are doing outstanding work and showing incredible commitment to their jobs,” DCF Secretary George Sheldon said.

“Floridians should be proud that in the midst of a deep recession, their state is meeting the challenge and leading the nation in helping children in foster care get adopted and helping low-income families put
food on the table,” Sheldon said. “I am grateful to state and federal lawmakers and our local partners for supporting programs that make it possible for children and families to recover from difficult circumstances
and move toward a brighter, more secure future.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Florida a $5.7 million bonus on Wednesday for increasing adoptions of children in foster care. This year’s award was the second highest in the nation. A
year ago, Florida received a $9.7 million federal bonus for being tops among the states in increasing adoptions of children in foster care. States are rewarded based on increasing the number of adoptions beyond their best year’s total and the number of adoptions of children who are age 9 or older or have special needs. More than 12,000 Florida children in foster care were adopted over the past three and a half years.

Florida recently received an $11.5 million bonus from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being best in the nation in food stamp payment accuracy for the second year in a row and showing the most improvement in correctly handling benefit denials and closures. Last year, the state earned a $7.1 million performance bonus for best accuracy, and in 2008 the state was awarded $5.5 million for most improvement in that category. Currently, more than 2.8 million Floridians are receiving food assistance benefits.

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