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[Tallahassee] – Governor Ron DeSantis showed his strong focus on child protection when he announced the release of his proposed 2020-2021 state budget this morning. The proposal, “A Bolder, Brighter, Better Future,” recommends significant investments in protecting the most vulnerable Floridians.

His budget recommends more than $97 million for services to children and families through the state’s child welfare system, more than $54 million to continue fighting the opioid epidemic, and $17 million for new mental health and substance abuse treatment services. For Guardian ad Litem, which represents abused and neglected children across the state, the Governor supported priorities in parts of Florida that have seen the largest increases of children in out-of-home care.

“Some of our local programs have had double-digit growth in the number of kids they represent,” said Guardian ad Litem Executive Director Alan Abramowitz. “Governor DeSantis cares about children, and it shows in his budget.”

Abramowitz also praised the DeSantis Administration for investing time and interest in child protection. First Lady Casey DeSantis, who chairs the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, has championed the expansion of mental health and addiction treatment services. And for National Adoption Month, Abramowitz pointed out, the First Lady appeared at a Tallahassee adoption event ahead of the budget announcement to congratulate 11 children who were adopted.  “It meant a lot to the families for the First Lady to be there,” said Guardian ad Litem Circuit Director Deborah Moore.

To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to become a volunteer, visit or call 1-866-341-1425.