WINTER PARK (CBSMiami) – Children’s Home Society of Florida has a new CEO in the midst of Florida implementing key changes within its child welfare system.

Michael Shaver, former chief operating officer and executive vice president of Children’s Home + Aid in Chicago, has been named the new CEO of the state’s largest child service organization.

“We are very pleased that Mike has joined Children’s Home Society of Florida as our chief executive officer at this critical time,” said Charles Cromer in a statement.  “With Mike’s experience, successes and inspirational vision for our organization, Children’s Home Society of Florida will continue to be a leader, innovator and strong voice for children and families across the state and nation.”

Cromer, the chair of the state board of directors for Children’s Home Society of Florida, also added “While key changes have been made as a result of child welfare reform, Children’s Home Society of Florida believes that more needs to be done to focus on overall child well-being.”

Major changes to the system came last March when the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee passed provisions that would help children in state care by keeping siblings together and by providing subsidies to caregivers who aren’t related to the children they take in.

Another provision would create a criminal offense for abandoning a child and provide prosecutors with a tool to stop illegal adoptions that put children at great risk.

The third change was 80 percent of newly hired child protective investigators and their supervisors would need college degrees in social work.

These legislative changes shifted the focus from the parents to the children, but restricted the impact of outside organizations like Children’s Home Society of Florida.

To increase their effectiveness the organization has ventured into collective impact models, collaborating with other non-profit, for-profit, governmental and educational entities to provide integrated services to vulnerable children and families.

Children’s Home Society of Florida believes Shaver’s experience and leadership implementing collective impact models in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago will be key.

“Lasting solutions to social challenges are best created when organizations work together to achieve goals that will have dramatic, lifetime impacts on those we serve,” Shaver said in a statement. “Children’s Home Society of Florida is already way ahead in shaping the way we care for children and families, and it’s a privilege to join the team that’s dedicated to doing it best.”

Shaver also believes that research, data and analyzing information can create innovative programs that can provide effective services for children and families.

Shaver’s resume in child welfare includes working for Children’s Home + Aid, Fostering Results in Chicago and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

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