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Welcome to Florida Child Advocate

July 19th, 2018   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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Children’s Rights Attorney Howard Talenfeld Receives 2018 Medal of Honor Award from The Florida Bar Foundation

July 20th, 2018   No Comments   News & Events

Nationally-known children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld was recognized by The Florida Bar Foundation as the recipient of the 2018 Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer. The Medal of Honor Award is the highest award given by The Florida Bar Foundation and recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through their exceptional achievements in improving the administration of justice in Florida. Talenfeld received this recognition at The Florida Bar Foundation’s 42nd Annual Reception and Dinner on June 14 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, site of the 2018 Florida Bar Annual Convention.

Known as one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys and advocates, Talenfeld is the founder of Talenfeld Law, the first law firm in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally disabled children and other at-risk youth.

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Talenfeld Law Partner Stacie J. Schmerling Selected to 2018 Florida Rising Stars List

June 29th, 2018   No Comments   Uncategorized

Founder Howard Talenfeld Selected to 2018 Florida Super Lawyers List

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  – 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, is proud to announce that two of the firm’s partners have been included in the 2018 edition of Florida Super Lawyers magazine. Firm partner Stacie J. Schmerling was selected to the 2018 Rising Stars list and founder Howard M. Talenfeld was named on the 2018 Florida Super Lawyers list.

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Child Advocates Raise Concern Over Care of Migrant Children Taken From Their Parents

June 22nd, 2018   No Comments   Uncategorized

Child advocates are very worried about the thousands of migrant children who have been taken from their parents. We know that children separated from their parents at young ages are at substantial risk of serious emotional harm.

Read more in this ABC Action News story by clicking here.



Children’s Rights Lawyer Stacie J. Schmerling Receives AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

May 30th, 2018   No Comments   Uncategorized

Stacie J. Schmerling, a children’s rights lawyer and partner with Talenfeld Law, has earned an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating, the highest peer rating standard awarded by Martindale-Hubbell®. Schmerling is a former veteran child welfare investigator and has been involved in many significant, multimillion dollar cases in the area of civil rights and child welfare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Howard Talenfeld published in South Florida Legal Guide

Read about needed changes to South Florida’s foster care program in the article “South Florida’s Foster Care Program Urgently Needs to Change” by Talenfeld Law Founder Howard Talenfeld in the May 7 issue of the South Florida Legal Guide.

Click here to view the South Florida Legal Guide.



Talenfeld Law Founder Howard Talenfeld to Receive 2018 Medal of Honor Award

April 25th, 2018   No Comments   News & Events

Our firm is incredibly excited to share that our founder, Howard Talenfeld, will receive the 2018 Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer at The Florida Bar Foundation’s Annual Dinner in Orlando.

The Medal of Honor Award is the highest award given by The Florida Bar Foundation. This celebration of service will be on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, site of the 2018 Florida Bar Annual Convention. Hundreds of providers of justice— including some of the state’s most dedicated judges, lawyers and legal aid leaders—will gather in recognition of those worthy individuals who have distinguished themselves through their exceptional achievements in improving the administration of justice in Florida.



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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