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Archive for the ‘Abuse’ Category

Young Man Dies at Broward Youth Treatment Center

October 14th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

Child advocates and attorneys who fight to protect from abuse teens and youths in the Florida juvenile justice system are watching closely the case of a teen who died at a drug treatment center in Pembroke Pines. The youth’s case also has raised the interest of police and state juvenile justice administrators.

The 17-year-old boy was housed at the center for delinquent youths, having been ordered there by the courts. The private “Broward Youth Treatment Center” is contracted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

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Soccer Coach’s Arrest for Alleged Teen Sex Abuse Reveals Need for Vigilance

August 31st, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

When a Plantation soccer coach was arrested this month on multiple charges of sexual battery on a minor, the case revealed again how parents must be alert to the sexual abuse even “trusted” adults can perpetrate on young victims.

The victim was in her teens when the alleged sex occurred several times between 2003 and 2007. The accused abuser, Juan W. Ramos, 43, has been over the past decade a school employee and soccer coach at American Heritage and other schools.

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Florida Child Abuse Attorney: Journal Reveals Allegations of Child Sex Abuse

August 9th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

When a judge admits that a case of suspected child sexual abuse is “by far one of the worst allegations I have ever seen in my career and it greatly disturbs this court,” it should raise alarms among child advocates, South Florida child abuse lawyers, and Fort Lauderdale foster child supporters.

That was Broward Judge Michael Davis’ comment following the revelation of a child who said that the child and two siblings had been sexually abused. The defendant, Amber Williams, 29, has been charged with molesting a child under age 12 and child neglect.

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Court to DCF: ‘Astounding’ that Agency Didn’t Follow Case of At-Risk Child Whose Mother Now Says is Dead

A Miami-Dade Circuit Judge chastised the Florida Department of Children and Families Broward County office for not following more closely the case of a toddler whose mother now reports the child has died.

According to news reports, after Judge Cindy Lederman learned that Broward DCF was not monitoring the family, whose children had previously been removed following the mother’s arrest, the judge said, “It seems like someone in Broward is sleeping, all the priors here and nothing was done. It’s astounding, quite frankly.”

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Florida DCF Investigating Death of Infant Taken From Family

Another infant has died while under the watch of the Florida Department of Children and Families and one of its privately contracted providers, spurring child advocacy attorneys and lawyers who fight for at-risk children or those suffering abuse or harm to closely follow this case.

Miracle Collins, only 7 months old, was taken from her mother in February after reports of domestic violence, according to news reports on a Tampa Police Department report. Eckerd Kids, a contractor to the Florida DCF, placed the child with a family friend. The child was sleeping on the couch, and later was found unresponsive.

A DCF critical incident team is investigating the death.

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Florida Foster Child Abuse Attorney Named to ‘Super Lawyers’ List

Howard M. Talenfeld, the preeminent Florida foster child abuse lawyer and children’s rights attorney, has been included in the 2016 Florida Super Lawyers list. Talenfeld was selected to the 2016 Civil Rights Super Lawyers category. Talenfeld has been listed in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine since 2006 and was named in the “Top 100: 2014 Miami Super Lawyers” list.

Talenfeld is the Founder and Managing Partner of 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. Known throughout the legal community and national media as having established the nation’s premier children’s rights practice, his work on behalf of at-risk individuals has earned multimillion dollar awards and resulted in sweeping judicial and legislative reforms.

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Before Mother Reportedly Smothers Two Children in Broward, Warning Signs Were There

June 27th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Aging Out

The deaths of two young children in Miramar, Florida, allegedly at the hands of their mother, should serve as yet another warning of how children’s protective services need to be more protective of the children. Ariel, a toddler, and St. Leo, 7 months old, were taken from and later returned to their mother by social service authorities in their hometown of Philadelphia.

Then this month, their mother – Sophia Hines – allegedly smothered both children while staying in South Florida. The woman previously had been under care for severe depression, and the children “were receiving in-home services” from a Philadelphia social services agency, according to the Miami Herald, which fought Philadelphia authorities and the Florida Department of Children and Families successfully to review the family’s case file.

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Florida Couple Arrested for Child Abuse Highlights Need to Report Harm

June 20th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

Throughout society, law enforcement officials and child abuse advocates and foster care attorneys implore citizens who witness crimes to take an important step: “See something? Say something.” An Okeechobee, Florida, mother has been arrested for not reporting suspected abuse of her two young children perpetrated by her husband.

Detectives with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) reportedly arrived at the family’s home this month on reports of child abuse. Investigators reported that the children, aged 2 and 4, suffered bruises and black eyes. One child had hair pulled out, the police reported. It was characterized as “extreme physical injury,” according to news reports.

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Foster Care Documentary Shows the Need for Reform of Florida’s Privatized Child Welfare System

April 15th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

Florida’s privatized system of foster care is still failing our children.  This documentary, which aired at the Palm Beach film festival, tells the story of many children who have fallen through the cracks of Florida’s experiment and who have been physically, sexually and emotionally abused in the system that was supposed to protect them. It begins the discussion as to what we must do next to protect our state’s children.

 

Foster Shock Documentary Trailer from Brian Bayerl on Vimeo.

Talenfeld Law Expands to Central Florida; Attorney Lisa M. Elliott to Head Children’s Rights Office in Daytona Beach

Talenfeld Law, Florida’s only law firm dedicated exclusively to protecting abused, disabled and injured children, has opened an office in Daytona Beach. Attorney Lisa M. Elliott will lead the office, and becomes the firm’s fifth lawyer. Ms. Elliott will now devote her practice to protecting these very special children throughout Central and Northern Florida.

Talenfeld - Lisa Elliott“We are thrilled that Lisa has joined our firm and will allow us to handle more cases and better serve children throughout Florida,” said Howard Talenfeld, the firm’s managing partner. “Lisa’s skills, reputation and advocacy for vulnerable children and her connection to Central Florida’s communities make her an invaluable addition to our firm.”

Mr. Talenfeld first met Ms. Elliott while working together with her on civil rights and damages cases with the late Gainesville lawyer and well-known child advocate Gloria Fletcher. While at her prominent Gainesville law firm, Ms. Elliott represented children who had been injured or abused in the Florida child welfare system, and advocated for clients in personal injury claims and other civil matters. She opened her own practice in 2015.

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Florida Claims Bills Seek to Help Abused Children Who Wait Years for Damage Awards

Children across Florida who have suffered rape, child sexual abuse, child abuse, and other personal injury often wait years to receive damage awarded by the court or juries – if they ever receive the money at all. Claims bills now before the Florida Legislature could make money available to help these victims receive the money they desperately need.

In one example, a Wellington boy, 9, was sexually assaulted by a foster child his parents had agreed to raise, not knowing the boy had suffered sexual abuse and had become a child-on-child predator. A Palm Beach County jury in 2013 found that the Florida Department of Children and Families was negligent and awarded the boy $5 million for damages and what could be a lifetime of treatment and therapy.

He’s yet to receive any money. “He’s living a life of paralysis,” said Howard Talenfeld, the attorney representing the now 22-year-old man.

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South Florida Judge Blasts Agency for Foster Kids Forced into Cockfights

Every South Florida child advocate and foster abuse attorney fights to prevent child abuse, personal injury and other harm or damages like those a Miami judge saw in a video this month. He called the events they endured the result of ineptitude and incompetence. The judge was responding to the violent “cockfights” and brawls children at a Miami group home for foster kids were forced to perform – with the encouragement of an adult supervisor.

“I saw a cockfight … between foster kids,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said in court, according to news reports. The supervisor was “provoking and encouraging violence” as “these two boys battled it out and beat each other up.” The supervisor has since been fired.

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