1. Florida Politics

Longtime Pinellas resident named to head state children's agency

Published Dec. 8, 2014

In a move that could help add stability to an agency that has faced repeated controversies, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named longtime Pinellas County resident Mike Carroll as secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Carroll, who has worked for the agency for more than two decades, has served as interim secretary since spring. Carroll is the third head of the Department of Children and Families under Scott, who took office in January 2011. David Wilkins served as secretary until 2013 and was replaced on a temporary basis by Esther Jacobo.

All three have grappled with heavy scrutiny stemming largely from children's deaths. After taking over as interim secretary, Carroll had to deal with an incident in which a Gilchrist County man shot an adult daughter and six grandchildren.

Carroll's previous positions with the department included managing the agency's Suncoast region, which stretches from Pasco to Collier counties. "I am committed to our agency's mission that every Florida child can live in a healthy and safe home,'' Carroll said. "We will continue to find ways to accomplish this goal and serve Florida families better each and every day."