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Welcome to Florida Child Advocate

October 17th, 2013   No Comments   Abuse, Adoption, Advocacy

(Scroll Beyond This Introduction to Read the Latest Blog Post)

Thousands of foster children, former foster children, developmentally disabled and medically needy children are part of the Florida child care system. If you’re currently or formerly a child in – or an advocate for or parent of a child in the foster care system, Florida Child Advocate is here to help.

Every year, thousands of foster children, medically needy children, or those physically abused, sexually abused, the victims of personal injury,  legal damages, and pain and suffering are left to seek solutions on their own. No child should go through this on his or her own. And for the almost 500 who have died while under state watch, they deserved better.

This site was created by the law firm of Talenfeld Law, which was founded by nationally known Florida child advocate Howard Talenfeld, the preeminent children’s rights attorneys focusing exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally disabled children and other at-risk children. Florida Child Advocate is dedicated to protecting children and addressing key issues facing those with foster care, physical abuse, child sexual abuse, social services, dependency, disability or personal injury and damages claims or lawsuits against the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), lead agencies, community based care providers, and other child welfare providers.

We believe that children belong with their own families. However, we also believe that when protective investigations by the Florida DCF and its agencies reveal that children are at high risk of neglect, child sex abuse or physical abuse by their parents, they must be placed with suitable relatives when they are available, and if not, some children must be placed in foster care. Critically, if children are going to be taken into foster care, they should be protected by the Florida Department of Children & Families and their community partners from the risk of physical and sexual abuse and returned home or placed in loving and nurturing adoptive families as quickly as possible. Topics also include the rights of foster Children to be safe from harm in care, their right to medical, psychological care, and disability benefits, their educational rights, and their rights on the road to independence.

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Governor Scott Signs $5 Million Claims Bill for Child Sexually Abused by Foster Boy Living in the Home

On Friday, March 23, Governor Rick Scott signed CS/HB 6509, a claims bill that directs the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to pay more than $5 million awarded by a Florida jury to C.M.H., a victim of sexual abuse by a child in foster care. This marks the largest known recovery in Florida for one child who was emotionally and sexually abused against a governmental defendant, DCF. Children’s rights attorney and Talenfeld Law Founder Howard Talenfeld served as co-counsel for C.M.H.

The bill is the result of a verdict and judgment against DCF on behalf of C.M.H., who was sexually assaulted at age nine by an 11-year-old foster child (“J.W.”) that DCF had placed at the home without a safety plan.

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Florida Legislature Approves Claims Bill for Child Sexually Abused by Foster Boy Living in the Home

March 15th, 2018   Comments Off on Florida Legislature Approves Claims Bill for Child Sexually Abused by Foster Boy Living in the Home   Abuse, Court Cases, Department of Children & Families (DCF)

On Thursday, March 8, the Florida Legislature approved a Claims Bill regarding a West Palm Beach jury verdict, which would provide $5 million to a victim of sexual abuse. The bill is the result of a verdict against the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) on behalf of a young man (“C.M.H.”) who was sexually assaulted at age nine by an 11-year-old foster child (“J.W.”) that DCF had placed at the home. Children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld represented C.M.H.

Read the entire story from the Palm Beach Post by clicking here

 



Anti-Human Trafficking Bills Deserve to be Heard

The Legislature has only a few days to pass Anti-Human Trafficking Bills SB 1044 and HB 167 which would hold hotels and motels responsible if they turn a blind eye to traffickers.

Ask for a full vote on the House & Senate floors this session and protect Floridians from suffering like Lynn did! As to SB 1044, contact: President Joe Negron at negron.joe@flsenate.gov (850 487-5025);Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto benacquistolizbeth@flsenate.gov (850 487-5027); and as to (HB 167) contact Speaker Richard Corcoran richard.corcoran@myfloridahouse.gov, (850 717-5000) and Rep. Jose Oliva jose.oliva@myfloridahouse.gov (850 717-5110).

Please share my story and urge the Florida Legislature to pass SB 1044 and HB 167 to hold hotels and motels responsible for turning a blind eye to human trafficking #Lynnsstory #HumanTrafficking #Survivor

Posted by Lynn Doe on Tuesday, March 6, 2018



Urge the Constitution Revision Commission To Do Right by Foster Children

January 6th, 2018   No Comments   Uncategorized

Please help Florida lead the nation by supporting Amendment 40. Our children need our help. Read this commentary piece below from firm Founder Howard Talenfeld for more information on this important issue.

Click here to read more in the Daily Business Review.



Talenfeld Law Receives Law Firm of the Year Award from Legal Aid

December 18th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events, Pro Bono

Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) recently honored Talenfeld Law with the 2017 Law Firm of the Year Award during the annual fundraising event, For the Public Good.

Talenfeld Law has made significant contributions to legal service providers and their clients in Broward County. Firm Founder Howard Talenfeld, one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys, established the firm as the first in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused, medically fragile, foster and other at-risk children. The partners and staff at Talenfeld Law have long been supporters of Children’s Advocacy Programs at LAS and CCLA, such as the Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency Project. For many years, the firm has also sponsored the FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD event and the Bridge to Justice breakfast.

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Opinion Piece: In Florida and Nationally, Privatized Foster Care is a Failed Experiment

October 17th, 2017   No Comments   Foster Care, Privatization

The following is an opinion piece from Howard Talenfeld, President of Florida’s Children First and the founder of Talenfeld Law.

When Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden, the Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, released findings from a two-year investigation into foster care privatization, it did more than reveal “abuse, neglect and system failures at every level.”

It confirmed what Floridians have known for years, though Florida did not respond to senators’ request for information. As implemented in Florida in many jurisdictions around the country, privatized foster care is an experiment that has failed.

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Foster Child Advocate Attorney Howard Talenfeld Named to The Best Lawyers in America List

September 21st, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy, Commentary

Howard M. Talenfeld, a preeminent children’s rights attorney, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™ in America 2018 in the field of Civil Rights Law. Talenfeld is the Founder and Managing Partner of Talenfeld Law, the first law firm in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused, medically fragile, foster and other at-risk children.

Talenfeld Law is led by one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys focusing
exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally
disabled children and other at-risk children. Learn more at 844-4KIDLAW or
http://www.justiceforkids.us.

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Foster Child Deaths Again Highlight Failed Privatized Welfare System

A letter to the editor from preeminent foster child rights attorney Howard Talenfeld was published in the Miami Herald and the Naples Daily News this week regarding the tragic deaths of teens like Giulianna Ramos Bermudez, Lauryn Martin-Everett and Naika Venant.

Their suicides prove again that privatization of the child welfare system has done little to improve the welfare of Florida’s children.

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Free Pass for Florida Foster Families to State Parks

July 6th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

July was a good month for foster families and families who adopt special needs children. Starting this month, foster families statewide can enjoy for free any of the state’s 174 state parks. The news is the result of legislation passed and signed by Governor Rick Scott during the during this year’s legislative session.

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Florida Foster Child Advocacy Firm Talenfeld Law Named 2017 Law Firm of the Year

Talenfeld Law, the preeminent law firm serving Florida children who have been abused, harmed, and neglected in foster care and other child welfare settings, has been named the 2017 Law Firm of the Year by Broward Lawyers Care, the pro bono project of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA).

Talenfeld Law is led by Howard Talenfeld, one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys focusing exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally disabled children and other at-risk children.

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Howard Talenfeld Profiled in the Daily Business Review

June 19th, 2017   No Comments   Uncategorized

Firm founder and Managing Partner Howard Talenfeld was recently profiled in the Daily Business Review. You can read more about his journey to becoming one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys here.

Click here to read Howard’s profile in the Daily Business Review.



Florida Foster Child Lawyer: ‘Bridge to Justice’ Breakfast from Broward Legal Aid Raises $54,000

June 13th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

This month’s seventh annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast, hosted by the Executive Council of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) raised more than $54,000 to help members of the community who need access to justice.

Howard Talenfeld with author Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer, a New York Times best-selling author, keynote speaker, and survivor of severe child abuse, spoke to 160 attendees about the challenges he once faced – and his decision to survive. His appearance was sponsored by children’s advocacy law firm Talenfeld Law, a children’s advocacy law firm in Broward County.

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