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Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Complaints & Reviews - Nonfunctional System

Florida Department of Children and Families Contacts & Informations

Florida Department of Children and Families

Posted:    Isaac King

Nonfunctional System

Complaint Rating:  90 % with 177 votes
Contact information:
Department of Children and Families
United States
Phone: 866-762-2237
At great expense to Florida tax payers, the Department of Children and Families services has totally insulated themselves from their clients. A great number of offices are only drop off points for paperwork with no possible way to interact with the staff: All phone numbers result in a recorded message or a referal to a recorded message with no hope of resolving your problem. To enhace this process, Florida tax payers also paid to installed the Department of Children and Families Access program to allow their clients to do their work on line which in concept is a great idea since most people on SSI, food stamps, etc. have extensive computer skills and systems for ready on line access. This total isolation from the client is unacceptable. I have spent over 46 hours trying to get a password restored on an Access account for a lady on food stamps and I have contacted the following numbers with absolutely no help.
Office of communications 850-487-0800 - friendly referals to others
Pasco Access Administrator 813-558-5670 - not her job call *2237
Pasco Client Relations Coordiator 813-558-5788 - no help call *2237
Sun Coast Region 813-558-5500 - Transfered to Pasco Nancy Leve
Nancy Leve (never answers or returns calls) - Answering Machine
* Automated Help System - 866-762-2237 - Abmisimal Loop, To get to a human you must let the loop repeat itself at least 3 times then you get the press zero for an operator. Pressing zero results in a long winded recorded message summarized as - we are all busy, call back later. To make the system even better, you have no chance at all unless you call during the normal working hours. Since they never seem to work, that leaves the client zero chance of any access. Do not take my work for this, you have the numbers, give it a try.

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 24th of Jan, 2009 by   MomAtHerWits 0 Votes
I totally agree with you, and that's because I am a single mother of twin daughters trying to get assistance and their giving me an heart trenching, complicated time. I was denied once already because of a phone interview I missed. Mind you I couldn't get through to no one at the number they provided. I applied a second time and still couldn't get through. I had to contact the customer service line, which what Issac King stated above its an "admissible loop." After, spending three hours at the service center on the phone, and complaing to the representive that I will miss my phone interview again; two days later I recieve a call from an interviewer named "Mirla" who seemed to be giving me a hard time over the phone. Almost as if trying to set me up or confuse me with certain questions. I have complyed with all of their verification request, and it seems as though they are still trying to give me a hard time. What do I have to do to sincerely recieve help? Especially in these times?
 18th of Mar, 2009 by   Dee 0 Votes
I agree it is a big loop of BS in this system and they get your information wrong and then theres no way to get ahold of anybody to correct it!

 24th of Mar, 2009 by   kim 0 Votes
I've also had a problem contacting them. Not to mention that I called 3 times and twice someone clicked in and hung up several times until the third time I was disconected. I contacted a friend and they also had the same problem. I'm starting to think they purposly are trying to hang up on clients. Who do I contact to report this?
 2nd of Apr, 2009 by   Trtena Williams +1 Votes
I have been trying to communicate with my case worker or any one at this point in order to resolve my issue over a total of 55 days however there has been absolutely no response and we have been denied for lack of submitting verification never mind the fact I have been calling without been able to get through to a live person due to high call volume and as well I have fax all paper work for verification a number of 3 times without a response. WHAT DO I DO
 24th of Apr, 2009 by   fishoutofwater 0 Votes
I agree and disagree all at the same time. It's true that it is difficult to get a "live" rep at the Call Center (tel# 866-762-2237) and here's why; there are 300 reps available for the entire state of Florida - there are 700 lines available - and DCF receives approx 10, 000 calls daily. The call center is now open 8am - 7pm Monday through Friday - one would have a better chance to reach a "rep" if one calls let's say on a Wed or Thurs between 5 until 7pm. Once you dial - choose your language option, then hit the "zero" continously - this will cut off the message and another one will start - keep doing this (zero) until the recorded message finally says "please hold for the next available rep" - this means you've entered a vacant hold line - if you receive a message stating that "all reps are currently unavailable, please try your call again later" - you will know that there are no lines available for you to be even placed on hold.. This tel # is also useful If you are having difficulty trying to reach staff for the dreaded phone interview. Let the rep know that you cannot reach anyone for your phone interview - ask them to place a message in your case file - ask them for a return call. I think the more awareness that is brought to our state legislature the faster DCF will have to "fix" their problems. "Community Partners" that have computers available for the public that do not have internet access elsewhere are NOT paid by DCF to provide these services to their applicants. In regards to faxing in your information - you need to make sure that your SSN, Case#, Name, tel# appears on each and every doc you fax to DCF - otherwise it goes into the black hole pile. Do not assume DCF knows who you are by name only. Disclaimer - I am not employed by the Department of Children and Families - I do however assist applicants with their ACCESS application - and all of the above I learned, by attending the school of hard knocks.
 11th of May, 2009 by   Dee-Dee +1 Votes
I agree with all. I applied for food stamps in April. I received a letter to provide all income, daycare expenses, loss of employment for the month of march. I faxed everything to them. I created an Access account, saw that my fax was received. I also received a separate letter to call for my phone interview. I called automated message came on stating to leave a message. Message box was full. I kept calling finally got through left a message with my name, social, date of birth, phone number. Automated message states I should receive a phone with in 48-72 hours. Three days later received a letter stating I failed to call or come in for an interview. I immediately called the number again, believe it or not someone answered. She proceeded to conduct the interview I pull all my documents that the letter requested. She all of sudden was RUDE because I was giving information for the month of March, income, daycare, light, rent, ect. She told me she wanted all current. I said fine i was just going on what the letter stated. She asked about all my expenses and who was working? I told her only my husband, she ask if my son was in daycare I said yes, she replied why is he in daycare if I am not working, I replied I just took him out because I was unable to afford it. If i was able to finish before I would of told her before made her comment. Then she asked how many cars I have I provided information. She replies how are you able to afford of of this. I told her we are trying to get by, pushing payment dates back. For a moment she made me feel little, I wanted to tell her I do not deserve to be spoken to like that. Like I was nothing. I am educated, married with three children. At one time I was working and able to afford my expenses. I pay taxes, I lost my job due to the economy, I just need temporary help till I fine work. I understand there is a high volume of calls but they should not be allowed to be rude and make you feel like you are worthless. I was angry but did not say nothing back, due to the fact I need temporary benefits and did not want to be denied. They should be trained better to speak respectful. They should try to put themselves in our shoes, not knowing if you going have enough money to food your children or may lose your house, cars, ect.
 11th of Jun, 2009 by   annoyed 0 Votes
I received a letter today (June 11, 2009) dated from their offices on June 8th, 2009 saying I had until on or before June 8, 2009 to call for a phone interview. The letter was post marked June8th, 2009. What in the world?
 11th of Jun, 2009 by   Tracy -1 Votes
Florida you gotta love it, Mickey Mouse state run by none other than a Bush. You folks voted him in, next time vote him out.

Ms. Dee-Dee if your spouse works and earns over the poverty level for your size family you are SOL. Dream on, get a job at Micky D's.

Move to Georgia, here no parent has to work as they are both considered caretakers.
You could have a field day with food stamps here.
 11th of Jun, 2009 by   annoyed 0 Votes
Tracy, I'm not sure what you are talking about. It's a bit hasty to assume we voted for him when he was in office, but I am pretty sure Bush hasn't been in office for a couple of years. Pointing fingers at the governor is one thing but I have a feeling this department isn't exactly on their daily rictor scale. George Sheldon, DCF's secretary should be held accountable. Forums like this one are a great way to find out that we aren't the only ones and to gauge the effectiveness of the system.

Things need to change,

George H. Sheldon, Secretary
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Building 1, Room 202
Tallahassee, Florida
32399-0700 Phone: (850) 487-1111
Suncom: 277-1111
Fax: (850) 922-2993
Suncom: 292-2993

dcf's email: dcf-osc@dcf.state.fl.us

 12th of Jun, 2009 by   Tracy 0 Votes
Dear Annoyed,

I was born in 1980 and raised until I was 12 in Florida and from what I know my parents told me that Jeb Bush was one of the worst governors there. My late father was born in Florida in 1947 and lived there until 1993. Of course, we moved in '93 and I'm not sure who was governor then, but I know my parents would never have voted for Jeb Bush. My mom's family is still there and they didn't vote for him, so someone had to in order for him to become governor. If it wasn't you, bravo. Why are you so defensive about what I said? It was a general statement, using the general YOU, not you personally.

The governor is elected by the people of the state, thus if he was elected, he had to carry most of the votes of the residents. If you didn't vote for him, that's fine. No one voted for George Bush twice either, so I hear. lol

However, as you might know the food stamp program is directed by the state. It's a state program, not federal. If anyone is responsible for passing your laws it's Charlie Crist now. But the real problems are always carry overs from the past governor, in your case Jeb Bush. Yes he left in 2007 to be prepared for presidency in 2112. Lord help us all if he gets in. We will definitely see the end of the world.

Back to your problem though, I do understand that people DO lose jobs, have no money and do deserve some government help.

Try writing your governor since he is ultimately the ones to pass the laws. He is the only one who can make changes to that program for you.

Next time vote democratic. :)
 12th of Jul, 2009 by   Dee-Dee 0 Votes
Ms. Tracy

Annoyed is correct to assume we voted for him. I am a democrat. My husband works extremely hard to make ends meet and did I. Working at Micky D's is not going to pay for $480 a week for daycare for my kids. The economy is screwed up. Don't assume that I am sitting at home doing nothing. I am trying to get a job its just their is nothing. I hope that your working and making ends meet. Do you have children who you got to worry about everyday.

To Annoyed thank you for understanding. I am not trying to live off the government money forever. I just need temporary help until I find work. I am as a wife and mother to be strong for them. I am trying to back into the work force. It's hard and even temp agencies have told me they don't have any work. Sorry we will contact you if anything come through. So again thank you for understanding.
 21st of Jul, 2009 by   M.Summers 0 Votes
I have been trying to get medicaid for my 14yr old niece who is pregnant and was kicked out of her home. I have talked to several people in the DCF office and I have personally went and filled out paperwork a the DCF office in Leesburg it seems that they always need something different and each person you speak to has a different answer and now they tell me that the case has been closed cause I evidently missed a phone interview that I knew nothing about and I have to start all over again and wait another 45 days...in the mean time I have a 14yr old girl who is 8mths pregnant and hasn't seen a doctor in almost 2mths and now we have to wait another 45days by that time she will be giving birth in the ER I guess cause I don't know what else to do at this point!! You hear stuff about pregnant teens getting the proper medical care but when they try to the state makes everything so darn difficult it isn't even remotely funny!
 30th of Jul, 2009 by   #1 mommy 0 Votes
I read through some of these complaints and I can agree on most of them...But here is MY big long complaint. I RE applied for food stamps in Feb. 09 and I wanted to hear something about my case...I received the info to gather all my information and send in my last 4 paystubs. (Mind you I haven't worked before when I was receiving benifits so it was an extra step to do) I had everything in and I got a letter stating I was denied...a single mom that works part time for 10 an hr and maybe get 15 hrs a week is denied? So I called my 'case worker' for information and for weeks couldn't get through to anyone...FINIALLY I got ahold of someone at the call center (you have to call before 10am to get someone) and they said my paystubs weren't so I had to resend them. After I resent them my case worker returned my call and said my paystubs were no good because they weren't consecutive and I had to have proof I didn't work those weeks. And she kept INSISTING I call the call center to speak to them. (She's my case woker she should know more than some call center)SO I gave it another shot and instead this time had my employer fax it for me. A month later I received information that my medicaid is no longer in effect for my son and I so I had to call and try to figure out what was going on...turns out my case was closed because my fax was never 'received' I tried taking further actions and called rep. Arie Porths office and a very nice gentleman helped me in getting ahold of someone. They told me that they would reopen my case and I didn't have to do anything but fax over the information again and I even gave miss kalya my employer number so she could call herself. After all that I waited months...here it is end of july and I just find out that my case is too old...its past the 60 days and I have to re apply again. I told the call center lady that this is bull sh*t and she hung up. I called Arie poths office again and spoke to the same man and said he'll get someone to call me and they did. The lady gave me the worst attidude and basically blamed it all on me and I should have reapplied. She said I had bennifits before and I should know the process already. Um yeah I had it before but I didn't have to do the extras because I didn't have a job then! And she goes on and says I'm interrupting her and I need to be quiet and listen and they don't have to reopen the case for me and I said all I needed was a letter saying what I needed to do and her excuse was they don't send out letters personally its automated and I just wanted to say so what do you do? They don't take calls, they don't return calls, they push you off to other people, they don't send letters, they don't even check their voicemails. They must have it so much harder than us poor folk who can't afford health care. They act like its coming out of their pockets but this is what they are paid to do! And they get great benefits because they work for the government. Oh and the 'nice' guy from Mr. Porths office came back to me and said he got an email saying that I was the one being rude and I was cursing and if I curse at them that they don't have to give me anything...hmmm all my fault that I even listened to the gonverment. Obama wants health care for all? How about fix the system we have now before it gets worse! And hire some people that actually have a heart.
 5th of Aug, 2009 by   e.nigma +1 Votes
I just got a person, Anita aswered.To Be Announced
Circuit 17 Administrator
1400 West Commercial Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
954-267-4040, She was very kind and said she is placing a msg on the my access board to find someone to call me for my phone interview. The lady, Gloria Basucci at 9543030249 either has a full mailbox or just doesn't like my voice. I've left so many pages and voicemails. (http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/admin/dcfcontacts.shtml)Try this link and select where you reside in FL and you can bypass the automated loop lines that disconnect you. Good luck. I'm so scared my mom and kids are all dependent on me and I have nothing left.
 5th of Aug, 2009 by   e.nigma +1 Votes
Quick update. I got antsy so I called the 850-487-1111(Tallahassee Office) and was referred to 954-202-3338(Broward) left another msg. By the grace of God, Gloria Blasucci called for our phone interview. I was so anxious about not getting answers, when she called, I was just nervous stupid happy. She pointed out that she has over 300 clients to help why she doesn't answer the phone. We had our 10 minute interview. She was very professional and thorough. After we were done she gave me follow up instructions and ended the phone call politely. I must say, I was so terrified of being mistreated as the people above, but this lady was exactly that, a lady. She definetly has a work load that I would gladly take over if the state would hire me. I just want you to know that not everyone is mean and rude. This lady deserves a raise and alot of praise.
 9th of Sep, 2009 by   EricaRenee 0 Votes
I too am very fed up with not being able to get in contact with someone over the phone. It shouldn’t just be an automated system that has no option to speak with a representative...that is ridiculous. But I am also not satisfied with whom I spoke with this last time I applied. I have applied a total of 4 times including the one I just processed yesterday. The first two times they sent me a letter in the mail, but yet I could NEVER get in touch with anyone to set up an interview, the third time which was about 2-3 weeks ago, a lady called me at work and began to give me my interview then. Now I was wondering why she didn’t try to contact me on my cell phone first. I work the front desk of a hotel, so it was very hard to talk that very second. But she didn’t care, she was very rude, and definitely didn’t know how to talk to people. I asked to hold for one second and she told me "no, I'm on over time!" So I'm trying to take care of my guest and respond to her at the same time. After she asked me everything that she needed to ask me, she then told me that I do not even make enough money to pay all my bills. She said "you must be getting some other income from somewhere so where is it coming from?" Excuse me, that is not how you talk to or treat a customer. I wish I would have remembered her name, but this lady needs to get a job elsewhere. I told her I was not receiving any other source of income from anywhere else, and that’s the reason I needed the help! My whole reason for applying is because I am struggling, she really had the audacity to tell me she wouldn’t be able to approve me if I couldn’t tell her where any extra money was coming from. SERIOUSLY! That was wrong and that lady really needs to be fired! If anything, she should have realized that I needed them more. After her trying to argue with me about it, I just placed the ignorant woman on hold and began to take care of my upcoming guest. Of course she hung up after about 30 seconds. I just applied for the 4th time yesterday, and I really hope I can speak with someone who knows how to treat and talk to people.
 27th of Oct, 2009 by   phineas4 0 Votes
Almost everyone I know who has tried to apply for food stamps gets their "interview letter" in the mail after said interview is supposed to take place. Just call the 866-762-2237 number and just keep trying... it may take 3 hours of calling, but you will get through. The person that answers that line should be able to give you the interview. We certainly had to jump through a lot of hoops, but we really needed help and we are so glad to have the food stamp money.

FYI - My fiance works about 35-40 hrs. a week, after taxes and insurance payments, he brings home about $500 every 2 weeks. He works very hard and even has a supervisory position and he still doesn't make jack sh*t!!! I stay at home with my 9 week old son. There is no way in hell I would put him in daycare to the tune of over $100 a week. I work harder being at home and taking care of him then I ever had at any job.

Today's society is f*cked up and people are working hard and still not making ends meet and need help. The govt. sure doesn't make it easy to obtain, but thank god it's out there!
 29th of Oct, 2009 by   LinK2009 0 Votes
Here are the phone numbers to call at the Department of children and families too speak to a person. It's the interview line, but if you have a case number, they will talk to you .. Or try the fax number, you can send whatever documents you have that they might be able to help you with. Just try it.

954-327-5160 Interview Line 954-327-5347 Fax Line

I was denied by Mr.Winston Hume who also had my measly Social Security check CUT in Half!!!
From $391.00 to less than $200. per month!!! I am totally disabled with NO income at all!
Here's HIS Fax Number 954-327-5328

These people have been given way too much power to do all the wrong things with.
 3rd of Nov, 2009 by   Mommy98 0 Votes
Check out this link
It's DCF employees reviewing the DCF. One employee explains "we actually were taught to avoid seeing clients, and didn't answer our phone calls from them since we would get behind if we did".
The DCF doesn't care about helping people, it's just a numbers game like every other business.
 12th of Nov, 2009 by   Floridian in Need 0 Votes
I am also having problems with this system i have paid into for years and just recently have had to ask for assistance for the first time ever out of all these years. I initially received benefits and came up for a review after 3 months. i had to resubmit my earning which i did by way of check stubs and the form my employer had to fill out. Then i was cut off completely with no explanation or letter. I was eventually told my earnings were ... (it was double the amount). I was then told that my casemanager put in double the amount so i sent in a letter from my employer with my wages again. Nothing happened. I then reapplied, reinterviewed and it has been 31 days now and No benefits or letter, I have called daily and told they are emailing my casemanager Mrs Ellis who i have never even spoke with. I have three children and my hours have been cut to 20 hours per week which my rent and utilities swallows that. I need help but this Mrs Ellis is either overworked or has something against me which is unbelievable because she has never spoke with me and only knows i am a single parent and now one of the many American's who is a victim of our economy needing assistance. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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