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Child Advocacy Blog


Archive for February, 2013

Op-Ed: Disability Rights: More Must Be Done for At-Risk Children and Their Parents

A letter by Florida child advocacy attorney Howard Talenfeld was published today in the Daily Business Review’s Practice Focus section. Entitled, “Disability Rights: More Must Be Done for At-Risk Children and Their Parents,” the letter noted how advocates can only hope that state leaders learn that cutting budgets at the expense of at-risk children rarely delivers the result one expects – and it could lend to a class action that is certified and a federal court injunction.

Talenfeld, of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb, wrote that, “To any Florida attorney who fights to protect the rights of and prevent damages to severely disabled children, the past several years have been tough to watch.

“Children with highly complex medical conditions and who had been cared for by their parents or guardians have been wrongly denied skilled, private duty nursing hours to assist in the care. Left little choice, some parents were forced to send the children to institutions, including nursing homes.

“Many children suffered. A few died.”

Read Talenfeld’s entire letter here.

Rilya Wilson Foster Parent Gets ‘Life’ Sentence, But Was Lesson Learned by DCF?

February 12th, 2013   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy, Court Cases

Child care advocates and attorneys who sue for the rights of foster children abused, harmed and who suffer personal injury and wrongful death at the hands of foster parents or caregivers had some reason to celebrate this week.

In a case that received national attention, Geralyn Graham this week received a 55-year sentence for the kidnapping and child abuse of little Rilya Wilson. Though the child is presumed dead, no body was ever found and the jury deadlocked on the murder charge.

Child advocate and children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld penned this opinion piece recently for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The lingering question remains: Though the lessons seemed clear to the community, and the Florida Department of Children and Families has instituted some changes, has it heard the message? One can only hope.

Save The Date: Florida Foster Child Supporters to Gather to Honor Broward Child Advocates Feb. 28 in Fort Lauderdale

February 4th, 2013   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events

Save the date for Florida’s Children First’s Broward Awards Event on Feb. 28th at The Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale

Please join Florida’s Children First February 28, 2013, as the organization honors child advocates in the Broward area and raises awareness for child welfare issues.


The reception will take place at the Tower Club from 5:30-7:30pm. Business casual attire. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. RSVP HERE. For more information, call 954-796-0860 or email fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org.

Disabled Child Attorney: In Dramatic Shift, AHCA Changes Rules to Help State’s Kids, Parents

To any Florida attorney who fights and sues to protect the rights of and prevent damages to disabled, vulnerable or foster children, the past two years have been tough to watch. Over that time, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration has been attempting to balance its budget on the backs of Florida’s Medically Fragile Children and their parents who want to care for them at home by violating the Federal Medicaid Act and chopping the number of hours that they are willing to reimburse parents for medically necessary private duty nurses.

Through their contracted agent, eQ Health Solutions, Inc, AHCA ignores the medical histories and the number of hours these parents have received and are entitled to in attempt to force the parents, many of whom have full time jobs to care for these children — many of whom are on ventilators, have trach tubes to breath and are fed through G-tubes. AHCA ignores the capacities or lack of capacity of many of the parents to assess emergencies and intervene with life saving procedures.

The ground is shifting. The rules are changing. In the Legislature and AHCA itself, change has come, according to this Miami Herald story.