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Wilkins out at DCF, ending tenure which began and ended in storm

by John Kennedy | July 18th, 2013

David Wilkins, who drew praise for guiding Florida’s Department of Children & Families through an investigation into the death of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona in West Palm Beach and lately has been fending off criticism following a wave of child deaths, resigned Thursday.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed Esther Jacobo, a managing director in DCF’s South Florida region, as interim chief.

“David did a great job in leading the state’s top child protection agency and his service is deeply appreciated,” Scott said. “I have no doubt that Esther will increase accountability in the department and enhance child protective services in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

Scott said Wilkins planned to focus on private sector opportunities and a foundation that he leads. Wilkins was an executive with Accenture, Inc., a worldwide technology vendor that contracts heavily with the state before becoming finance director of Florida Baptist Children’s Home.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat who chairs the Senate’s Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, criticized the agency for its actions in four children’s deaths since mid-May and scheduled a September hearing into the matter in Tallahassee.

“No child should die because of abuse and neglect,” Sobel said earlier this month.”Especially if the state goes in and investigates. That’s unacceptable.”

Wilkins, however, was credited with steadying the agency in the months after his 2011 appointment when he organized a task force to probe DCF’s role in the Barahona case. The girl’s body had been found in February on Interstate-95 in West Palm Beach, wrapped in plastic and in the bed of her adopted father’s pickup truck.

An investigation revealed she had suffered a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her adoptive parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona, who were were indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and neglect.

The panel probing the case labeled DCF’s performance as “inept.” Wilkins defended overworked and underpaid staffers at the agency, but also vowed to change its culture. He said too many child-care workers were ill-trained and that the agency suffered from high-turnover, a decades-long problem at DCF.

Wilkins’ latest initiative called for new training of 5,000 staffers and a push to put more technology in their hands to monitor cases.

Earlier this month, Wilkins wrote a piece for the Tallahassee Democrat saying his new program was aimed at creating a holistic, multi-discipline approach to preventing child abuse.

“Our focus will shift to assessing the full family functioning to understand the dynamics and set the stage for identifying needs that will keep the children safe,” he wrote.

“Our investigators and case managers are being trained to engage the whole family in the process to teach them to make better decisions and, when necessary to keep the child safe, remove hildren from dangerous situations.”

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13 Responses to “Wilkins out at DCF, ending tenure which began and ended in storm”

  1. PirateCafe Says:

    This was overdue.

  2. lets do it for Trayvon Says:

    Yes it is well past due but what can we expect? All government agencies only give lip service to tragedies.In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky homo ped leaks which got so huge friends could no longer cover for him – Florida “liemakers” passed a mandatory child abuse reporting requirement. Several cases of child sex abuse have been reported to DCF and handed off to Lake Sheriff Gary Borders and covered up by his sex crimed against children cover up specialists.

    David Wilkins was just another money hungry fake (I want to help the little children) while turning his heads on all sex crimes against children. Rick Scott is no better! An empty suit who has known about Sheriff Borders Green Isle Boys 20+ years of reported rapes against boys from 9 to 15 years old and not one arrest for these crimes has ever happened! But, when so much evidence finally comes out on David Wilkins, Rick Scott throws him under the bus! We should demand Rick Scott stop impeding the White House Boys Marianna, Fl investigation where dozens of black boys were murdered by state employee’s and buried on the grounds.

    Also we should demand Rick Scott stop covering up the crimes at Sheriff Gary Borders Green Isle Boys Ranch in lake County Florida. Or, we should demand he be charged with Obstruction of Justice!

    Green Isle Story
    http://panamaed.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/2009-case-5-children-brutally-raped/

    Retired Captain Mike Ford worked as a direct report to Lake Jail Major Gary Borders for 15 years all the while Borders was on the board of directors and a constant presence at Green Isle Boys Ranch and Captain Ford says Borders never mentioned the Green Isle Boys Ranch to him. Why? Wouldn’t someone be proud of helping the little boys? The Summer 2009 Islander certainly shows now sheriff Borders with his jail cook; Captain Steve Moss and Sgt. Chip Ray!

  3. gov scott stop lying!!! Says:

    Why didn’t Rick Scott do something about the pedophiles that run the Green Isle Boys Ranch in Lake County?

    Because it is the Don Brown family who also owns all of the BRIDGES OF AMERICA PRISON MINISTRIES AND PRIVATRES SCHEMES THAT PAD THE POCKETS OF P[EOPLE LIKE RICK SCOTT, JEB BUSH AND THEIR BUTTIES~~~ THAT IS WHY!!!

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  5. scott has always been in th ering Says:

    The reason Rick Scott helped the Lake Bush clan cover up the Green isle Boys rapes is because he was connected with GW in Dallas and Dallas and they were connected too this still operating pedophile ring then and now!

    This Franklin pedophile ring cover up which went all the way to washington was covered up at the highest levels of government. In doing so they have to cover up[ the crimes of their little men on the ground. There are still several will connected criminal pedophiles around here that have been involved in this pefophile organization for years.

    http://www.franklincase.org/index.php...

  6. jioppp Says:

    ubia Barahona in West Palm Beach and lately has been fending off criticism following a wave of child deaths, resigned Thursday.

    Gov. Rick Scott appointed Esther Jacobo, a managing director in DCF’s South Florida region, as interim

  7. jioppp Says:

    connected with GW in Dallas and Dallas and they were connected too this still operating pedophile ring then and now!

    This Franklin pedophile ring cover up which went all the way to washington was covered up at the highest levels of government. In doing so they have to cover up[ the crimes of their little

  8. jioppp Says:

    ay to washington was covered up at the highest levels of government. In doing so they have to cover up[ the crimes of their little men on the ground. There are still several w

  9. jioppp Says:

    his Franklin pedophile ring cover up which went all the way to washington was covered up at the highest levels of government. In doing so they have to cover up[ the crimes of their little men on the ground. There are still several will connected criminal pedophiles around here that have been involved

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