Babcock named deputy secretary of DCF

Patricia Babcock

Patricia Babcock, who served as co-director of the College of Medicine’s Center for Behavioral Health Integration since 2016, has been named deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. She begins her new job this week.

“She will bring both skill and compassion to her new role,” said Heather Flynn, now sole director of the center.

In the college’s Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine, Babcock developed numerous projects to improve the capacity of Florida’s child welfare system to address behavioral health needs in families.

A key emphasis of the Center for Behavioral Health Integration is improving behavioral health in social service sectors, including child welfare. Babcock led those efforts and received grants from DCF to improve child protective investigators’ knowledge and skills surrounding behavioral health. Her efforts aimed to reduce the likelihood of future child welfare involvement in families through better recognition and assessment of mental health and substance abuse issues, for example.

In her new role, she is responsible for overseeing major programs in DCF, including child welfare, substance abuse and mental health as well as eligibility for Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. 

“Patty’s unique contributions here at FSU will certainly be missed,” Flynn wrote in an email to College of Medicine faculty and staff. “At the same time, she has a tremendous opportunity to effect high impact change for families throughout the state within her new role. She is a highly astute, innovative and practical thinker with outstanding experience in this arena.”

In her time at the College of Medicine, Babcock also contributed to the development of a behavioral health integration model for FSU PrimaryHealth.