Building Families


As the mother of four children and eight grandchildren Gayle believes that families are the foundation of our society. Strong families enhance the well-being of children and build communities.

Gayle is a founding Board Member and past president of Hibiscus Children’s Center. She has spent more than 30 years working to protect children. She is continuing this important work in the Florida House of Representatives and has served on the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet since 2011. The Cabinet is comprised of all the department and agency heads who deal with children and youth issue.

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Gayle speaking at the Child Welfare Summit.

As Chair of the Children, Families and Seniors Committee in the Florida House, Gayle is focused on assuring the safety and wellbeing of children and families in Florida. She knows that mental and behavioral health issues, substance abuse and domestic violence are major drivers of child abuse and neglect and must be addressed in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.

She recognizes that the various systems involved in addressing these issues are extremely complex, involving hundreds of organizations, thousands of people, and of course many, many families–each unique.   In addition, funding is often split among many different agencies and difficult for individuals to access. A comprehensive approach to transforming the entire system is needed in order to change the system.

Gayle believes that we must address mental health and substance abuse through an integrated system that works with all agencies from local sheriffs, courts, Community Based Care Agencies, Managing Entities and mental health and substance abuse provides to primary care provides if we are going to truly transform the system.

Gayle is committed to reforming and transforming the both the Child Welfare system and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse system in Florida so that every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment and every adult has the opportunity to overcome their illness and become a productive, contributing part of society. Click here to see Gayle’s record.)