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Archive for September, 2012

Palm Beach Post: Children’s Services Council Cuts Tax Rate, Budget; Services the Same, Exec Promises

September 28th, 2012   No Comments   Advocacy, Funding

The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County’s governing board voted unanimously this week to reduce the tax rate it assesses on county property owners by 2.3 percent, the Palm Beach Post reports. The result – about 2% less in funding, or $91.8 million. It’s total budget for 2012-13 will be $110 million, down just under 4%.

But less money does not translate to less service for children and families, CEO Tana Ebbole told the paper. “…[N]ew programs beginning within the coming months are proven programs that will help the council have an even bigger impact on the lives of Palm Beach County’s children and families.”

From its mission statement, “The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County is an independent special district established by Palm Beach County voters, who dedicated a source of funding so more children are born healthy, remain free from abuse and neglect, are ready for kindergarten, and have access to quality afterschool and summer programming.”

Florida Department of Children & Families: We Didn’t Force Disabled, At-Risk Kids into Nursing Homes; Federal Findings Show Otherwise

Following a scathing federal report that revealed that the Florida Department of Children and Families had forced foster children and other vulnerable kids from their families and into state-contracted nursing homes – possibly as a cost-cutting measure, the DCF has voiced denial of the activity.

“Everyone, including this fragile population, deserves to be cared for with the least restricted means,” Liz Dudek, the secretary of the state Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, said to reporters at a news conference this week. “That’s where we want children to be.”

The report from the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was scathing. It accused Florida healthcare agencies of “warehousing” sick, disabled and other at-risk children in adult nursing homes. In response, Dudek’s agency claimed it was in “full compliance” with federal laws that require governments to house and treat disabled people in community settings, whenever possible, the Miami Herald reported.

Read the full story here.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Orders Agencies to Check on Disabled Children

September 11th, 2012   No Comments   Advocacy

A Federal Department of Justice investigation that found children suffering physical and mental physical disabilities being housed in Florida nursing homes alongside seniors has Florida child advocate attorneys and lawyers representing foster and abused children alarmed.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, saying he wasn’t aware of the situation until recently, ordered the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Children and Families to investigate.

The Justice Department noted that children in such situations often lack access to fundamental services, like education. They’re also limited from socializing with peers. This is a denial of their civil rights, DOJ found.