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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.

More permanent placements needed for Florida’s foster youth

January 9th, 2019   No Comments   Advocacy

A recent investigation by the Tampa Bay Times newspaper found that “thousands of Florida’s foster children were put at risk of further psychological damage by an overburdened system that repeatedly bounced them from home to home and family to family.”

According to Robin Rosenberg, deputy director of Florida’s Children First, too many children in our state are unnecessarily removed from their homes. Since 2013, the number of children in either foster homes or housed with relatives has risen significantly. Child advocates believe this surge in the number of youth needing placements has resulted in a decline in efforts to match children with the best placement situation to fit their needs. Children who are repeatedly moved from house to house will likely act out, only to find themselves moved again when they are not placed with a foster parent trained to deal with behavioral issues.

Read more about the Tampa Bay Times investigation here.

Newly-released Report Shows How Florida Compares to Other States in Outcomes of Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

December 18th, 2018   No Comments   Advocacy, Aging Out, Foster Care

On November 13, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Fostering Youth Transitions, a report with the most comprehensive data ever collected across all 50 states to help illustrate how young people ages 14 and older are faring as they transition from foster care to adulthood. This first-of-its-kind report examines how children from foster care in Florida are handling the transition out of care in comparison with the rest of the country.

Florida’s Children First and Florida Youth SHINE have continuously worked to inform the public and legislators about the needs of the youth who are aging out of foster care. Read this informative op ed from FCF Executive Director Christina Spudeas in the Tallahassee Democrat to learn more.

Anti-Human Trafficking Bills Deserve to be Heard

The Legislature has only a few days to pass Anti-Human Trafficking Bills SB 1044 and HB 167 which would hold hotels and motels responsible if they turn a blind eye to traffickers.

Ask for a full vote on the House & Senate floors this session and protect Floridians from suffering like Lynn did! As to SB 1044, contact: President Joe Negron at negron.joe@flsenate.gov (850 487-5025);Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto benacquistolizbeth@flsenate.gov (850 487-5027); and as to (HB 167) contact Speaker Richard Corcoran richard.corcoran@myfloridahouse.gov, (850 717-5000) and Rep. Jose Oliva jose.oliva@myfloridahouse.gov (850 717-5110).

Please share my story and urge the Florida Legislature to pass SB 1044 and HB 167 to hold hotels and motels responsible for turning a blind eye to human trafficking #Lynnsstory #HumanTrafficking #Survivor

Posted by Lynn Doe on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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.

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Talenfeld Law Receives Law Firm of the Year Award from Legal Aid

December 18th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events, Pro Bono

Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) recently honored Talenfeld Law with the 2017 Law Firm of the Year Award during the annual fundraising event, For the Public Good.

Talenfeld Law has made significant contributions to legal service providers and their clients in Broward County. Firm Founder Howard Talenfeld, one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys, established the firm as the first in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused, medically fragile, foster and other at-risk children. The partners and staff at Talenfeld Law have long been supporters of Children’s Advocacy Programs at LAS and CCLA, such as the Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Dependency Project. For many years, the firm has also sponsored the FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD event and the Bridge to Justice breakfast.

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Foster Child Advocate Attorney Howard Talenfeld Named to The Best Lawyers in America List

September 21st, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy, Commentary

Howard M. Talenfeld, a preeminent children’s rights attorney, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™ in America 2018 in the field of Civil Rights Law. 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.

Talenfeld Law is led by one of the nation’s 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. Learn more at 844-4KIDLAW or
http://www.justiceforkids.us.

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Foster Child Deaths Again Highlight Failed Privatized Welfare System

A letter to the editor from preeminent foster child rights attorney Howard Talenfeld was published in the Miami Herald and the Naples Daily News this week regarding the tragic deaths of teens like Giulianna Ramos Bermudez, Lauryn Martin-Everett and Naika Venant.

Their suicides prove again that privatization of the child welfare system has done little to improve the welfare of Florida’s children.

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Free Pass for Florida Foster Families to State Parks

July 6th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

July was a good month for foster families and families who adopt special needs children. Starting this month, foster families statewide can enjoy for free any of the state’s 174 state parks. The news is the result of legislation passed and signed by Governor Rick Scott during the during this year’s legislative session.

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Florida Foster Child Advocacy Firm Talenfeld Law Named 2017 Law Firm of the Year

Talenfeld Law, the preeminent law firm serving Florida children who have been abused, harmed, and neglected in foster care and other child welfare settings, has been named the 2017 Law Firm of the Year by Broward Lawyers Care, the pro bono project of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA).

Talenfeld Law is led by Howard Talenfeld, one of the nation’s 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.

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Florida Foster Child Lawyer: ‘Bridge to Justice’ Breakfast from Broward Legal Aid Raises $54,000

June 13th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

This month’s seventh annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast, hosted by the Executive Council of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) raised more than $54,000 to help members of the community who need access to justice.

Howard Talenfeld with author Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer, a New York Times best-selling author, keynote speaker, and survivor of severe child abuse, spoke to 160 attendees about the challenges he once faced – and his decision to survive. His appearance was sponsored by children’s advocacy law firm Talenfeld Law, a children’s advocacy law firm in Broward County.

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Florida’s Children First to Host Miami-Dade Awards and Fundraiser

May 9th, 2017   No Comments   Advocacy

Florida’s Children First, Florida’s preeminent child advocacy group, has announced its annual Miami-Dade Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony. The event will be held Thursday, May 18, 2017, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM at the law firm of Hogan Lovells (600 Brickell Avenue, 27th Floor Miami, FL 33131).

To RSVP learn more, email events@floridaschildrenfirst.org or call 954-796-0860, or RSVP online at www.floridaschildrenfirst.org. All proceeds to benefit FCF. $100 contribution suggested.

Founded by leading Florida child advocacy attorney Howard Talenfeld, Florida’s Children First will honor child advocates in Miami at its annual fundraising and awards event. Community and business leaders, and all other persons concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth, will be in attendance.

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