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Secretary's Message

June 27, 2014

Secretary Walters’ Weekly Letter

I am so proud to share every week the great work occurring here at the Department of Juvenile Justice, and I hope you will take a moment to read the stories about the accomplishments of our colleagues, both DJJ employees and those who work for our contractors, and the youth in our care.  I am always looking for opportunities to showcase the work you do – on and off the clock – to enrich your communities. I know there is even more going on than what I report here, so I would like to encourage each of you to keep the weekly letter in mind and remember to share your good news. It’s easy – email news@djj.state.fl.us or call (850) 921–5900 by Thursday at noon (submissions after that time will be considered for the next week’s letter).

Sincerely,

Wansley Walters

***Notice to Employees*** Due to the July 4th Holiday next Friday, there will be no weekly letter next week. The weekly letter will resume on July 11.

Farewell Note to DJJ Staff

As I sit here typing this message, it is difficult to put into words the surreal feeling of  knowing  that I will no longer be serving as Secretary of this agency after Monday.  I shared on the Roadmap tours how much I enjoyed meeting the many staff from around the state that dedicate their lives to making Florida a better place for at-risk and delinquent youth. I only wish that I had more opportunities to meet with more of you. I am so proud of the work that all of you have accomplished in these 3 ½ years and am confident that you will continue to put the needs of these children first to keep this agency moving forward. I also have all the utmost confidence in Deputy Secretary Daly as she becomes Secretary and her ability to lead this agency on its way to becoming a national model for juvenile justice reform.

Know that I will not be far and will continue the good fight, albeit more from the sidelines, for the hard work you all do every day. 

All my best,

Wansley Walters

Secretary


Employee of the Month

I am pleased to honor Circuit 8 SJPO Todd Pollex as DJJ’s Employee of the Month for May 2014.  Since joining us at the Department, Todd has worked his way up in just a few short years from OPS to a Senior Juvenile Probation Officer.  SJPO Pollex personifies what it means to be a leader by working to build strong relationships with our community partners and local law enforcement agencies. He works tirelessly for the youth and families we serve and is a steadfast advocate for the Department’s Roadmap to System Excellence. 

Please join me in congratulating Todd on this tremendous honor!

The Employee of the Month for June will be highlighted in the near future and I would like to remind everyone to please keep sending your nominations for the monthly DJJ Employee of the Month Award. You can do so by clicking here


Prevention Update

Two students from the Pasco PACE Center for Girls served on the Student Advisory Council to plan the 2nd Annual Together We Stand Youth and Community Summit on June 10 at River Ridge High School in Pasco County. Seven PACE girls participated in the event and one of them served as the student facilitator for a break out session for local principals in the Northwest section of Pasco County. The summit was designed to create safer, more inclusive schools. The summit is a huge community event which brings school administrators, community members, and students together to discuss the issue of bullying and to find solutions to end bullying in our schools.  

In the attached photo, Pasco County School Superintendent joins Pasco PACE girls during their recent anti-bullying summit. Superintendent Browning spoke at the summit which also involved other school administrators, community members, and students to discuss this problem and look for solutions.


On Tuesday, the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County, a DJJ Prevention Provider, received a generous $100,000 donation from the Rotary Clubs of Gainesville Foundation. The donation will help upgrade a classroom at its northwest campus and install air conditioning, buy classroom furniture and spruce up the room. The added space will allow the northwest campus to serve an additional 30 to 40 students and take some off the waiting list for the club’s summer program. The Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County teaches team sports and offers programs for literacy, leadership, health and life skills and the arts. The Club was established in 1949 and serves approximately 3,500 students each year. Alachua County’s Boys and Girls Club recently won its fourth consecutive award of excellence for outstanding programs from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Read more about the donation from the Gainesville Sun by clicking here


Financial Coordinator Cheryl Howard attended the South City Creating Awareness of Resources and Educational Services (CARES) event on June 14 at the Greater Love Church of God in Christ in Tallahassee. In order to promote health, wellness and to promote success, workshops addressed issues ranging from health and nutrition to finances and job training. Cheryl assisted participants in carrying Farm Share vegetables to their car. There were many agencies providing information and giveaways to the community. 

Please read more about the CAREs event in the Tallahassee Democrat by clicking here


Last week, Statewide DMC Coordinator Joshua Kuch, Deputy Manager Rhyna Jefferson and Federal Grants Manager Yvonne Woodard along with Assistant Secretary for Prevention Wanda Finnie attended the OJJDP’s 2014 Core Requirements training and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice Annual Conference both held in Washington, DC. In celebration of both the 30th anniversary of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), as well as the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, CJJ assembled exciting panels, speakers and workshops that focused on the implications of lessons learned in the last 40 years and the future of juvenile justice reform.

The conference also included a federal update by OJJDP Administrator Bob Listenbee, and workshops discussing solitary confinement of juveniles, the school-to-prison pipeline, status offenses, and federal research and recommendations on evidence-based practices.

In the attached photo (from left to right): Statewide DMC Coordinator, Joshua Kuch; OJJDP Administrator, Bob Listenbee, and Federal Grants Manager, Yvonne Woodard


Living Stones International held their second annual Family Fun Day last Saturday at the Walker Ford Community Center in Tallahassee. Living Stones is operated by Pastor Gary Montgomery and his wife, Josephine; the Montgomery’s won the DJJ Champions of Hope award at the 2013 National Faith Symposium. As a way to entertain neighborhood youth, the free event included hot dogs, face painting, fantasy photos, bouncers, games, swimming, contests, live entertainment, kiddie trains and vendors. The fund raiser benefitted Living Stones’ Children of Inmate Programs. Living Stones is a children and family outreach organization hosting quarterly special bonding visits between children and their incarcerated parents. Living Stones also offers after school tutoring program, and mentoring.


Kudos to Research and Planning Staff

Congratulations to Michael Baglivio and Nathan Epps, both with the Bureau of Research & Planning on their co-authored article published in The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s spring 2014 issue of the online “Journal of Juvenile Justice.” The article entitled The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in the Lives of Juvenile Offenders can be viewed here.

We would also like commend Mark Greenwald, Director of Research & Planning, Sherry Jackson, and Michael Baglivio for having an additional three publications in peer review journals this month.  Their articles appeared in The American Society of Criminology’s highly respected peer review journals: Criminology and Criminology & Public Policy.  You can view all or part of these publications here, here, and here.


Probation Update

JDAI Statewide Coordinator Colleene Scott and Hillsborough County Coordinator Scott Buchanan gave a presentation on JDAI to members from the Florida Association of County Human Services Administrators or FACHSA. FACHSA's mission is to educate and advocate for efficient county health and human services programs. FACHSA members are county-based representatives with expertise on accessing local resources and youth/family advocacy. FACHSA’s local support of JDAI strategies provides the opportunity to enhance JDAI county specific initiatives. 


On Wednesday, Circuit 20 JPO Shana Feren received a commendation letter for all of her hard work in service to the La Belle Youth Academy.  It reads: 

To Whom it May Concern: 

As a first year Administrator at LaBelle Youth Development Academy, I have relied heavily on the school staff and the staff members of other agencies that work closely with the students here.  Shana Feren definitely earns the award for the hardest working member of our LYDA team.  More importantly, her true compassion and desire to see the students on her caseload be successful is evident in her words and actions.  

Ms Feren always conducts herself in the most professional and ethical manner whether it be with staff, parents or students.  She has such a passion for teaching and working with the students assigned to her; she is a gift to the Department of Juvenile Justice and to the Hendry County School District.  

Ms Feren does not settle for mediocrity and sets high standards for the students she works with.  She is role model for both the female and male students alike and encourages them to set high standards for themselves, regardless of their circumstances.  She believes that all students are capable of meeting high standards with hard work and effort. 

I would like to commend Shana Feren for all of her hard work and dedication to the students at LaBelle Youth Development Academy. 

Sincerely,

Vivian L. Bennett
Site Administrator


The Chiplola Healthy Start Coalition held a community baby shower on May 30th in Jackson County to provide information and assistance for pregnant women in the surrounding counties. The purpose of this event was to target women who are in need but were unaware of the many services that Healthy Start provided to them. Circuit 14 Secretary Specialist Renee Crews purchased items for the DJJ table to be distributed at the shower while JPO Shaneka Gardner hosted the table with a sixteen year old girl on her caseload who has two children and was in need of baby items. This young lady left with numerous packs of baby items including diapers and wipes. 


Recently, Circuit 13 CPO Judy Roysden received this thank you letter from a mother with a child on probation. The letter thanked the Department and praised JPO Ardena Bosley who worked directly with the youth during her time on probation. It reads:

Hello Ms. Roysden:  My daughter recently got in some trouble. This is the first time she has had any type of charges and I am truly appalled, overwhelmed and disappointed. I did not raise her this way. I am sure you hear that often. To that end, I have literally called Ms. Bosley like 5 times (over the weekend), emailed her more times than I can recall, and then re-emailed her. (Please note, we were only just in court on Thursday morning). My reason for this email is that every time I have emailed Ms. Bosley, called her (multiple times ever over the weekend), she has very graciously responded to me, each and every time. She took every phone call, and responded to every email with an explanation, answer to my multiple questions, even when she had already very nicely explained that I did not have to keep calling her every time my daughter sneezed. 

I just wanted to take a minute and truly thank her, and to let you know how grateful I am for her concern and assistance. She stepped in and helped me with the referral for alcohol and drug counseling that she has nothing to do with, called the facility that I found for my daughter to have her assessment and begin her counseling, and even called me back to inform me that she had done so. This was out of the scope of her job, as were many of the calls and emails and it was so nice to have her on my side. I really needed an ally. This is a tough situation and she has made the process much easier for me. She did NOT have to do all the extra stuff she did, because, as stated, my daughter is not even on probation. I was so confused and continued to contact her, for everything. 

Because she did, I understand better now, (finally!) and my daughter has her counseling set up to begin this week. She even let me rant about the fact that I believe my daughter needs more than just counseling, she needs inpatient. Nonetheless, this whole process has been really saddening and I thank the Lord for her good nature. What a blessing.


Circuit 4 Transition Specialist Manuella McDonald completed an intake on a youth for services with Project Connect on June 9. At the time of the intake, Manuella learned that the mother had eight children and a granddaughter in the home with little or no food.  Manuella collaborated with the Salvation Army and provided the mother with information on how the family could get food and furniture for her home. Manuella brought food to the mother’s home last week and set her up with the local food bank in Jacksonville where the mother can go any day of the week to pick up food. The mother was so grateful for everything that Maunella did to help her family. 


AMIKids of Gainesville has been doing some very exciting things for our youth over the summer months. The program recently began a computer repair class with the assistance of a retired local school teacher. This teacher had computers donated to the program and our kids have been fixing them and making them operational. 





In addition, the Gainesville program had a fabulous showing during the AMIKids Summer Challenge. The staff took home the Coaches of the Year Award while our kids accepted the top award for team excellence. Many of our youth took home first and second place awards in academics, swimming and track and field. This is the first time that the program has participated in several years, and it has been a life changing experience for many of our youth. 



Last Friday, AMIKids Gainesville held an awards luncheon to honor those youth who demonstrated outstanding performance during the last school year. The event was well attended by parents, friends, board members and representatives from the school district and Circuit 8. During the ceremony, JPO Tuwuana Rossin was recognized for her outstanding service and support for the staff and students at AMIKids. 


Kudos to Juvenile Probation Officer Leslie Rodriguez. Her supervisor received this note from a thankful parent:

So often in life we take for granted many people and forget to say how much of a difference they have made in our lives. During this journey, Leslie Rodriguez, my son's probation officer was a constant in our lives. She was professional at all times and went the extra mile and helped my son, DL, through this process. She showed him that he could make it through this ordeal and learn from the experience. D. was able to complete his probation, graduate from high school, and start college. He only needed someone to guide him and believe in him. Leslie Rodriguez did this and should be commended for her dedication and hard work. It takes a special person to be able to work within this system. She not only helped D. but myself as well.

Sincerely,

D.G. (parent)


Detention Update

Matthew Fitzgerald was appointed as the Superintendent of Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center effective 20 June 2014. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Criminal Justice. Matt comes to DJJ from DCF where he was a Child Protective Investigator.   Previously, he spent over 12 years working with youth in various programs in Connecticut as a Program Director, Program Coordinator, and Mental Health Counselor. With his wealth of experience and dedication to serving youth, Central Region welcomes Matt as a valued member of the team.


The Office of Detention Services from the Central Region hosted a Super Juvenile Detention Officer Competition on June 10 at the regional office in Tampa. The competition contained seven stations encompassing a uniform inspection, PAR, medical services, mental health services, JJIS/FMS, a written test, and an interview. JJDO Nathaniel Brandel from the Brevard RJDC was the overall winner of the competition and received a trophy and $150 for his efforts. Nathaniel’s supervisor, JJDOS Derrick Cason, also won $50. Congratulations to Nathaniel for his efforts!


Last week, youth from the Brevard RJDC participated in a poster contest at the facility. The theme of the contest centered on the “Teens Assisting Puppies” (TAPS) Program, which has been such a wonderful pet therapy program for our youth. The youth who participated showed their creativity and were given credit for community service hours for their creation time. The competition was fierce with twelve youth participating for first, second and third place.  The top three posters were selected and the youth’s poster that took first place transposed their creation onto a wall in the facility.  This amazing mural is a symbol of the success that the TAPS Program continues to be with the youth in our care. 


Mr. Jon Loftheim, Director for the Central Region of Detention Services officially retired on June 26, 2014.  Mr. Loftheim has been a leader and an advocate for Detention Services since he joined the Department in 1995.  The Department of Juvenile Justice, and more importantly, Detention Services, will miss him tremendously. Congratulations on your retirement, Jon! 

In order to ensure continuity of operations, Mrs. Dixie Fosler has been appointed as Acting Director for the Central Region of Detention Services, effective June 27, 2014 until a new Central Region Director is selected.

Mrs. Fosler’s almost 30 years of service has afforded her the opportunity to perform the duties of Detention Care Worker, Community Youth Leader Supervisor, Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, and Regional Director.  Her very diverse background, her ability to form professional relationships with stakeholders, her exemplary leadership skills and her genuine concern for the welfare of children are among some of the attributes Ms. Fosler brings to this position.  She is a woman of great character and is relentless in her professional approach to ensure positive outcomes for youth, staff, and her community.

Ms. Fosler and her team at Marion Detention have been recognized nationally and internationally for their efforts in transforming their hardware secure facility into a trauma-informed environment.  She has implemented the same trauma-informed environments at the other seven detention centers in the North region since being appointed the Director in October 2012. 


Carolyn Luther, affectionately referred to by fellow staff as “MaMa Lou” will be retiring in a few days after providing over 30 years of service to the state.  She served 24 years at G Pierce Wood and then began working for DJJ at Desoto.  After being adversely effected when Desoto closed she accepted a position at Manatee Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Officer Luther was a positive role model for the youth at Manatee Detention.   When change was required she embraced it.

She was honored at an All Staff Meeting today, with words of appreciation, congratulations and a celebration that started with a walk down a red carpet into the meeting and a limo ride home provided by her fellow staff.


Residential Update

From June 18 through June 20, Crystal Johnson, with the DJJ Programming & Technical Assistance Unit in Tampa, and Vanessa Wicker, with the DJJ-HQ Office of Residential Services Programs & Policy Unit, taught the Residential Positive Achievement Change Tool (R-PACT) in the computer lab of the Alexander Building in Tallahassee.  The three-day R-PACT and Performance Plan Combo Training consists of several components:

  • The first two days of training participants learn about the R-PACT and implementation of the R-PACT;
    • Participants discuss and review the department’s vision for the R-PACT;
    • Participants learn about the risk to reoffend vs. restrictiveness levels; and
    • Participants review all 12 domains of the R-PACT and practice how to administer the R-PACT correctly using the software.
  • The third day of training concentrates on the youth’s Performance Plan, understanding the difference between traditional case planning and evidence-based performance planning. 
    • Class participants learn about SMARTER goals and interventions while they practice implementation of the performance plan on software.

Last week’s class participants included Renita Malone (North American Family Institute/Alachua Academy); Kimbberli Crumity (Youth Services International/JoAnn Bridges Academy); Wesley Elias (Youth Services International/Charles Britt Academy); and, from the DJJ Bureau of Quality Improvement, Heather Broxton, Jeff Powell and Warren Garrison.


The young men of the Brevard Group Treatment Home (BGTH), a low-risk program for males, ages 12 to 15, located in Cocoa and operated by The Center for Drug-Free Living, Inc., participated in a community service project every Saturday in May.  Members of the BGTH Community Advisory Delinquency Board provided this opportunity (and many others) for the residents to participate in a community-based restorative justice project.  The young men completed 100 hours of community service at the Walk on Water Ministries, a nonprofit ministry of horseback riding and therapeutic riding for all ages, located in Merritt Island. 



The young men of BGTH flex their muscles while building tables and repairing areas of this therapy ranch.

The mission of Walk on Water Ministries is to provide a place for people of all ages and backgrounds—especially those with disabilities and their families— the opportunity to experience and bond with horses in a safe and loving environment.  Walk on Water is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to serving the needs of Florida’s Spacecoast Area.  They teach responsibility, self-confidence, teamwork and communication skills with the help of equine partners.  

The BGTH boys helped renovate the ranch by painting, building tables, landscaping, and repairing livestock areas such as the chicken coop.  The owner of the Walk on Water Ranch, Patti Bryant, also provided the young men with the opportunity to ride the horses.  While not every one of the young men relished the opportunity to ride a horse, for some the interactions with the horses was not very different from interacting with the canines the boys have been working with for months.










The young men at Okaloosa Youth Academy (OYA) in Crestview are providing community services for the Foxwood Country Club.  OYA is a moderate-risk program for males, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Gulf Coast Treatment Center.  In exchange for the work the boys are doing to help repair flood-damaged areas of the golf course, the country club has agreed to allow the youths use of the facilities.  The OYA Youth Peer Council and administration plan to establish an apprenticeship program for the residents to learn greens keeping and golf course management.  So far, the young men have received rave reviews from the country club for the work they have done.


The youth at Union Juvenile Residential Facility (JRF), a moderate-risk program for males, ages 12 to 19, that are operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC, are offered a CPR and First Aid Certification course as part of the program’s academic and career education.  Last week, out of 22 young men who took the course, 17 passed.  Each youth will receive certification cards that will help them gain employment upon graduation from the program. 

Also last week, every youth in the Union JRF program achieved the Physical Education Challenge of running a mile in less than 10 minutes.  The times recorded ranged from 5:38 to 9:42.  The biggest accomplishment of the goal was the teamwork and support the boys showed one another. 








 Beginning the first week of April and ending June 19, DJJ-HQ Office of Residential Services Programs & Policy Unit team members Pat Wilson and Candace Seifert completed the annual face-to-face surveys of approximately 30 percent of all youths in every residential program.  In each program, the youth interviews were conducted by two teams of two DJJ staff members, at the same time but in different rooms within the facility.  Each team consisted of a program monitor and a residential headquarters staff member.

The primary purpose of the youth surveys/interviews is to ensure programs are providing a safe, secure and abuse-free environment that is driven by program procedures, program culture and in an environment that incorporates normalization.  Prior to site visits and youth interviews, HQ staff reviewed CCC/incident reports for the program for the previous six months; any corrective action plans; and the most recent Quality Improvement report for each program in order to be aware of any limited or failed indicators.

A census of the current population was extracted from JJIS and of that program’s population, 30 percent from each of the following categories were selected for personal interviews:

  • Youth who were new to the program (within two to four weeks in residence);
  • Youth who were at the halfway point in their treatment plans; and
  • Youth who were in transition, preparing for re-entry to the home community.

Based on the three subsets described above, youth selection was random and chosen one week prior to a program visit.  Upon arrival at the program to conduct surveys, DJJ staff asked for the Facility Administrator or designee and introduced themselves and the other members of survey team.  The program staff was informed of the reason for visit and that all youth interviews would be kept confidential.  Program staff also were informed that any reportable incidents would be addressed as required.

If a selected youth was identified by program staff as being off-grounds, another randomly-selected youth from the same category was interviewed.  If there was no other youth in said category, a youth was selected from the available current total population.  Interviews took approximately 15 to 20 minutes to conduct with each youth.

One person from each team asked the youth the survey questions, using Motivational Interviewing techniques and paying close attention to the youth’s body language, lack of response or hesitations.  The other team member noted the youth’s responses on the survey tool.  Approximately 600 of the 1,950 youths in a residential program (between April 1st and June 19th) were interviewed. 

In accordance with the protocol for the youth surveys, both teams of two met after the interviews were completed to discuss any issues or concerns identified during the interviews that needed to be addressed immediately, as well as any safety or security issues or concerns that were observed.  If there were any issues, then the DJJ-HQ staff would immediately notify the Office of Residential Services Assistant Secretary Laura Moneyham or her designee.  If the issue was a reportable incident, then the Abuse Registry (for those youth under 18 years of age) and the CCC (18 years of age and older) would be contacted within the required two-hour timeframe. 

There were no reportable incidents during the entire youth survey interview process in all regions nor were there any issues that posed a safety or security risk.

After the interviews, DJJ-HQ staff took a brief tour of each program.  The purpose of the tour was to observe youth and staff interactions, assess the program’s culture, and assess the program’s normalcy as it relates to environment and youth.

Many thanks go to all of the Office of Residential Services regional staff members who assisted with the youth survey process.  Without the help of regional staff, the youth surveys and interviews would not have been possible:  Northeast RegionBilly Starke, Katina Horner, Darryl Bacon, Paul McIntyre and Gwen Nelson; Northwest RegionGarret Tucker, Dwight Poole, April Denney and Greg Brown; Central RegionMack McLeod, Melissa Johnson, Ramona Salazar, Tommy Fawcett, Vernon Pryer, Dave Bassler, Elma Adame and Monica Webb; and South RegionSharon Coplin and Tom Mahoney.

DJJ-HQ residential staff is working with the Research and Planning Office to analyze the data from the surveys and prepare a report.  The information will be shared with providers, regional staff and program staff.


Provider Management Shared Services Update

The planning for statewide rollout of the Shared Services is well under way, and we are excited about what’s to come.  As a first step in this direction, we have identified individuals for leadership roles for Shared Services.  We are excited to announce the selection of the following individuals:

Beth Davis, Chief of Contract Management
Stephen Brown, Chief of Monitoring and Quality Improvement
Jennifer Rechichi, Monitoring Planning and Prioritization Supervisor
Garrett Tucker, Regional Monitoring and Quality Improvement Supervisor (North Region)
Kent Rinehart, Regional Monitoring and Quality Improvement Supervisor (Central Region)
Patrick Morse, Regional Monitoring and Quality Improvement Supervisor (South Region)

With leadership identified, these individuals will be included in staffing discussions.  One major area of improvement identified by our pilot team was the timing of staffing communications.  We understand that individuals need to be informed as soon as possible if they are personally affected by change. 

Meet Your Contract Management Unit 

Beth Davis: Chief of Contract Management

Coni Ward: Supervisor of Contract Management

Wayne Barr II, Natalie Bennett, Joy Geller, Lisa Leath, Barbara Manakas, Keyla Osorno, Stephen (Marty) Reid, Alice Sims, Nikita Wiggins, Adrian Williams, and Deborah Wilson.

Training Plans for the Central Region 

The next step toward statewide implementation will be the introduction of Shared Services to the Central Region.  The full Shared Services training sessions for all impacted personnel will occur during the afternoon on Tuesday, July 8th, and the morning on Wednesday, July 9th.  There will also be a two- hour orientation session on Tuesday morning, July 8th, for interested DJJ staff without direct involvement in Shared Services.  If you are in the Central Region, you should have received an e-mail last week with the registration information.  If you did not receive it, please let us know.  You may find and register for the appropriate sessions in SkillPro.

We will also have one session for our colleagues in the Office of Health Services. The clinical monitoring specific training will occur during the afternoon of July 9th.  Training for the final stage (North Region) of the Shared Services roll-out will be in late July (details to come).


Skill Pro Status Update

Today marks almost five months since the SkillPro learning management system (LMS) became operational. Almost 9,000 Florida juvenile justice professionals, both state workers and provider employees, have been served by SkillPro. More than 10,000 certification exams have been administered and users have taken a total of 28,625 e-courses and  4,099 instructor-led sessions – more than half of which were designed by providers and delivered using the Custom Content feature. As users become more familiar with the system and technology adjustments and enhancements have been implemented, the number of SkillPro user support requests has steadily declined from 348 in March to approximately 173 for June.

This data shows that the transition to SkillPro is going well for juvenile justice professionals. Experienced information technology and training experts at DJJ and other Florida state agencies advise that the transition to a new LMS takes a minimum of two years and as many as five years for a robust system, such as SkillPro.

Users who need assistance should submit their questions or requests using the “Make a support request” button on your SkillPro user home page, or via the “Get Help!” tab on the SkillPro menu. Be sure to include your email address and phone number at the beginning of your message and provide a brief description (one to two sentences) of the issue/question. If you are unable to access the system, seek assistance from your training coordinator or ask a co-worker to submit the request on your behalf. Please do not submit multiple requests for the same issue. Requests are processed as quickly as possible. If further information is needed, a SkillPro team member will contact you for details.


Staff Development and Training Update

Getting to Know You

As part of the North Region Detention Superintendents' Meeting on June 24, the Office of Staff Development and Training (SD&T) presented a two-part, team-building workshop titled "Getting to Know You!" The primary focus was to give the group an opportunity to get to know one another–and themselves–better. The first part consisted of "Leadership in Living Colors," which is an invaluable tool for assembling effective teams. Part two was devoted to "Assessing Assets," which enlightens participants on the latest trends for writing clear and concise communications. The fun, four-hour learning experience also has been requested for the newly on boarded team at Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Kudos to SD&T learning consultant Jacqui Hagan for facilitating the workshop.


Employee Shopping Program Frequently Asked Questions

There have been a few questions concerning the advertisement (catalog) sent to state employees titled “Introducing Your New Employee Shopping Program.” Included below are some of the frequently asked questions:

Q. What employee information was obtained from the public records request? 

A. The  employee name, home mailing address (unless the *privacy indicator was checked in PF indicating your record is exempt from public record disclosure) and the People First (PF) user/employee ID number.

Q. Did the public records request allow them (the vendor) to obtain our name, address and People First ID#?

A.  Yes

Q. If I purchase merchandise from the catalog, will payments be payroll deducted?

A.  No, if you purchase merchandise the payments will not be deducted from your payroll check.

Q. Is the People First ID number confidential?

A. No, the PF ID number is used to identify employees instead of the social security number and is subject to public record.

The Department of Management (DMS) website outlines how to check and edit your privacy indicator in the PF system. To view those outlines, click here.  Before you edit this setting on your PF record, please make sure you have completed the DJJ Public Records Disclosure Exemption Questionnaire, found in the forms library.  Please forward this completed form to the Bureau of Personnel for inclusion in your personnel file, as well as, to flag your file with the appropriate exemption.  If you need assistance editing your privacy settings in the PF system, please contact Margo Rogers or Morrison King and not the PF service center.















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