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Welcome to Florida Child Advocate

February 4th, 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.

Read the rest of this entry »



Talenfeld Law Listed in 2020 “Best Law Firms”

December 2nd, 2019   No Comments   Personal Injury

Talenfeld Law has been recognized by U.S. News – Best Lawyers on its 2020 “Best Law Firms” list. The firm received a Metropolitan (Fort Lauderdale) Tier 3 ranking for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.



Talenfeld Law Partners Listed in 2020 South Florida Legal Guide

November 14th, 2019   No Comments   News & Events

Congratulations to  firm Partners Howard Talenfeld and Stacie Schmerling on their selection to South Florida Business & Wealth magazine’s 2020 South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyers” List! 

 

 

 

 

 



Tampa Bay Times: Plan to use secure facility for Hillsborough’s problem foster teens is ‘ludicrous,’ sheriff says

A plan to use a secure facility to house Hillsborough’s problem foster teens is being met with opposition from several groups, including the Hillsborough County Sheriff, the Hillsborough County Commission Chairman, and Florida’s Children First. They warn that forcing children into a locked facility will cause them more emotional harm.

According to a recent news report from the Tampa Bay Times, Sheriff Chronister “described the plan, which is backed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, as ‘ludicrous’ and warned Wednesday it would further erode children’s confidence in the grownups entrusted to care for them.”

Read more from the Tampa Bay Times here.



Local 10: Police say Miami foster mother abused children, causing one girl to die

October 18th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse

In what has been described by Miami-Dade police and the Department of Children and Families as “one of the most horrifying cases of abuse they have seen” Local 10 WPLG reports that a local foster mother is facing abuse charges for the alleged abuse of three girls, ranging in ages from 6 to 12 years old.

According to the report published by Local 10, “numerous injuries from former beatings were found on their bodies, including healed marks and healed burn scars on their hands and fingers.”

Read more of this horrific story of child abuse by clicking here.



Deadline: ‘Foster Boy,’ Legal Thriller About Foster Child, Has Surprising Real-Life Turn Of Events

October 17th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse

“Foster Boy” is a legal thriller about the abuse of an African-American kid in the foster system. As reported by Deadline, “the screenwriter for the film Foster Boy won a $45M judgment against a social services agency — the largest award in the history of the state of Illinois in a case involving the death of a toddler in the foster system.”

Sadly, there are far worse cases here in Florida.

Read more about the movie by clicking here.



Statewide Human Trafficking Summit Reminds Us that More Progress, Prevention is Needed

October 1st, 2019   No Comments   Advocacy, Sexual Abuse

On Monday, hundreds of individuals involved in criminal justice, social services, health and mental health, and others gathered in Orlando for Florida’s first statewide Human Trafficking Summit. As reported by Florida Politics, “So much more attention and effort is being paid to the scourge of human trafficking now than 20 years ago. Yet there remains so little visible progress, especially in prevention…”

We must continue to shine a bright light on the places where these heinous crimes are committed, and work to educate the employees of hotels, massage parlors, and adult theaters on how to spot the signs of trafficking and common practices. While there is now more attention on human trafficking, there is still much more that needs to be done in order to address and prevent some of Florida’s worst and most vile crimes.

Read more about the Human Trafficking Summit in the article “Human trafficking summit opens with concern that prevention still lags” from Florida Politics here.



Local 10 News: Florida man with Down syndrome dies in hot van while caretaker naps

We are seeing far too many children and disabled persons die in vans because of caretaker negligence. It’s time for our legislature to enact comprehensive protections for these vulnerable persons.

Read the latest report from Local 10 News by clicking here.



Howard Talenfeld Named in Florida Trend 500

September 6th, 2019   No Comments   News & Events

Congratulations to Talenfeld Law founder Howard Talenfeld for being selected to the Florida 500, Florida Trend magazine’s list of the most influential business leaders in our state! See his profile in this month’s issue.



Daily Business Review: Web Outreach on Sex Trafficking Connects Accusers to Attorneys, But Raises Questions

August 21st, 2019   No Comments   Sexual Abuse

Child advocates warn about the issues with attorneys advertising to attract victims of sex trafficking. Our own Howard Talenfeld discusses how these advertisements may actually put victims in danger in this article from the Daily Business Review.

According to Howard, “These kids are living in fear of their captors, and so we are highly concerned.”

Read more from the Daily Business Review here.



AP: Claims of abuse in foster homes mount for migrant kids separated at border

August 16th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

As reported by the Associated Press, the foster care programs meant to provide migrant children with care while authorities work to connect them with parents, relatives or other sponsors may actually be harming them.  A review of 38 legal claims obtained by the Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who said their children were harmed while in government custody.

Read more from the Associated Press by clicking here.



DBR: Legal Aid Groups Bring Class Action Against Florida Agencies Over Medicaid Terminations

Hear from our firm founder Howard Talenfeld in this article from the Daily Business Review regarding a new proposed class action lawsuit in Florida. While Talenfeld is not involved in the class action, he comments on his experience with Florida’s welfare and disability programs.

Click here to read more from the Daily Business Review.



Mourning the loss of a true advocate for kids – Joel Fass

July 29th, 2019   No Comments   Uncategorized

Florida Child Advocate joins many organizations and attorneys in South Florida in mourning the loss of a true advocate for children, Joel Fass. On top of his very successful and active legal practice, Joel was a hero and advocate for foster children, the elderly and the disabled. He volunteered with several organizations, including Florida’s Children First.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 11 am at B’nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston.

Read more about Joel’s distinguished career in this profile from Legal Eagle South Florida.