What is FCA?

Child Advocacy Blog


Archive for July, 2012

Florida Department of Children and Families: Sexual Abuse by Accused May Be Far Reaching

Kenneth Hagins apparently is an equal-opportunity abuser. In what is unfolding as possibly a horrific episode of ongoing sexual abuse of children and adults, the one-time Central Florida youth pastor, 40, is behind bars while investigators work to determine how many people – kids, adults, even the disabled – he might have victimized.

Hagins has worked at a children’s day care, a group home for the disabled and as a youth pastor at a church. Exposure of his alleged crimes began when a young child told his parents about the sexual abuse.

“From that point it simply unraveled,” Department of Children and Families spokesperson Carrie Hoeppner said, according to News 13.

Read the entire story here.

Florida Child Advocate Attorney: Sandusky Case Begs Questions Be Asked – and Answered

As we’ve already seen and written on this blog, child advocates and foster child attorneys are taking some time to address fall-out from the Jerry Sandusky guilty verdict. As the Penn State University former assistant coach awaits sentencing on his conviction for child sexual abuse, the rest of us have our own lessons to learn. The simple lessons are to listen, act and change the way we view others.

In short, Listen to those who claim abuse. Act on what you hear. Remember, no one – from “trusted” football coaches to priests to neighbors, teachers and others in positions of trust or responsibility – can be beyond suspicion.

Child advocate attorney Howard Talenfeld wrote this essay for the Daily Business Review. Its lessons couldn’t be more clear.


‘It’s Just Sick’ South Florida Children’s Rights Attorney Says of Alleged Neglect

July 15th, 2012   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases

Spanked with a spatula, locked in their rooms and not allowed to use the bathroom, not allowed to bathe for days – maybe weeks, this was the horror allegedly endured by the children of a Palm Beach Gardens mom and her boyfriend.

A 5-year-old girl allegedly was molested by the 34-year-old man. The children all have been removed by the Florida Department of Children & Families. A 1-year-old baby has been placed in a foster home. The three other children have been put in the care of a relative.

“This is a very sad situation that we see occur repeatedly in the county,” Florida children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld told the Sun-Sentinel. Such incidents are not rare or isolated, he added. “It’s very sick.”

Read the entire story here.

Florida Foster Child Advocate Attorney: State Agency Plan to Add 1,200 Foster Parents Could Harm Kids

Although the Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary’s initiative to recruit 1,200 more foster parents is admirable, the plan to eliminate the rules could prove disastrous for some children. In repealing these rrules, Florida needs to remember the death of children like Nubia Barahona and Latiana Hamilton where foster and adoptive parents were directly responsible for the deaths of these children. The negligence of DCF and employees of private agencies were directly responsible for the deaths of these foster children.

According to a story in the Tallahassee Demograt, “On Thursday, Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins announced an initiative to help families care for kids temporarily taken from their families. The initiative, Fostering Florida’s Future, is a marketing campaign to recruit 1,200 new foster families and promote less-restrictive parenting rules that did little to protect children and much to discourage participation by foster parents.”

Florida had some 4,317 foster families in Florida in June, a 14 percent decline from the year before, the paper reported. “The department recruited 1,000 families last year, but more left for a variety of reasons. Some adopted the kids they fostered. Others chose not to continue as foster parents as they aged, Wilkins said.”

Read more…