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Child Abuse Attorney, Florida Senate Committee Address Issue of Children’s Deaths in ‘Porous’ Welfare System

Leading Florida child advocate and children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld addressed the Florida Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee this week, as they sought to stem a year’s worth of damning news of dozens of children who died from abuse and neglect while under the watch of the Florida Department of Children and Families and its various community based care providers and private contractors.

HT at Senate HearingLater, the Florida Senate committee passed several proposals advocates and leaders hope will improve the quality and quantity of regulation over the state’s child welfare system. The goal, in part, is to improve what Senate President Don Gaetz called “a porous system,” according to the Miami Herald.

Addressing the wide-ranging areas in need of correction, Talenfeld spoke of the need to directs DCF to keep siblings together when placed into foster case, as well as tackling child-on-child sexual abuse, expanding child safety plans and extending 60-day case reviews.

“After 60 days, it’s over,” Talenfeld said. “There’s no one watching the children. There’s no one watching the family and someone is waiting for the next shoe to fall.”

Read the Miami Herald coverage here.

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