ORLANDO, Fla. -

State child welfare authorities are introducing a new plan aimed at recruiting 1,200 more foster parents for some of the 20,000 children now in foster care across Florida.

Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins said Thursday that the agency wants to eliminate many of its rules and regulations that often hamper efforts to attract foster parents.

Wilkins said the new DCF program is designed to "let foster kids be kids" and give them quality foster home that can provide them with that opportunity while removing them from harm's way.

Four Miami men were charged last month with operating an underage prostitution ring by luring vulnerable foster girls into the sex trade with cell phones, clothing and attention they did not get elsewhere.