The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced today its new legislative affairs team. Timothy Parson will serve as the agency’s Legislative Affairs Director and Nicole Stookey will serve as the Deputy Legislative Affairs Director.
Parson previously served as the Deputy Legislative Affairs Director. Parson was part of the legislative team that led DCF to one of the most successful state sessions in recent history. Reforms advocated by DCF and passed this session will empower foster parents to make reasonable parenting decisions for children in their care, give youth the option to remain in foster care until the age of 21 in order to finish high school, earn a GED, pursue post-secondary education or begin a career, and prohibit the use of EBT cards at certain establishments such as liquor stores, adult entertainment sites and gaming facilities.
“We are pleased that Tim has agreed to take on more responsibility in his new elevated role as director,” DCF Secretary David Wilkins said. “He played a key role in our success this legislative session. With his expertise, I’m confident that we will be able to accomplish even more for Florida’s children and vulnerable adults next session.”
Prior to joining DCF, Parson worked in the Florida Senate for more than five years as a legislative aide responsible for researching and tracking many issues related to child welfare and public benefits. He also has experience in the private sector as a government affairs director.
Stookey will begin working in her new role starting in July. She is rejoining legislative affairs after serving as the Communications Director for DCF’s Northwest Region. Nicole began working at DCF in 2003.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Nicole back to our legislative affairs team,” said Wilkins. “With her experience and years of service at DCF, Nicole will play an important role in developing legislation and gaining support for DCF’s legislative agenda.”
Both Parson and Stookey are already working on DCF’s 2014 legislative agenda, as the department continues to push for changes that will protect vulnerable persons in the state’s care and tax dollars.