On Dec. 18, Gov. Scott appointed Christina Daly as Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. During her previous roles, especially during her role as the DJJ Interim Secretary, she proved to be an exceptional leader and natural fit for the position.

Before starting at DJJ, Ms. Daly dedicated her time to working for nonprofits and helping at-risk and underserved youth on the local and state levels. She has been a true advocate for Florida’s youth from the start. I had the pleasure of working with her at Capital City Youth Services. It was there that Ms. Daly discovered her passion for service to young people and their families in crisis.  Her genuine and non-judgmental compassion and commitment saw many youth and families through very difficult times.  She quickly assumed more responsibilities during her time at CCYS and I am grateful for her assistance in making the program a statewide and national model.

I also had the honor of working with Ms. Daly at the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, where she led the statewide implementation of the Safe Place program. As the president and CEO of the Florida Network, I have worked closely with Ms. Daly during her seven years at the DJJ, where she served as the chief of staff, deputy secretary and interim secretary.

In each position at the DJJ, she served as an invaluable leader to the organization and greatly contributed to implementing new programs and sustaining initiatives. Her lifelong commitment to service to Florida’s families, dedication and drive have kept the DJJ focused on increasing public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through implementing effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth. There is no doubt that the eight percent decrease in juvenile arrests this year is linked directly to Ms. Daly’s leadership with the DJJ.

There is no better choice than Ms. Daly to uphold the legacy left by former Secretary Wansley Walters. With Secretary Christina Daly now at the helm, we at the Florida Network are confident that the DJJ will continue to focus on ensuring that youth have every opportunity to realize their full potential and make a successful transition to adulthood.