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Florida DCF Lawyer Warned in Case of Foster Child Suicide Aired on Facebook Live

Private attorneys who fight for the rights of at-risk and foster children are watching closely as a Miami judge overseeing a case related to a child’s January suicide that was streamed from her foster home on Facebook Live threatened a Florida Department of Children and Families lawyer to jail for reportedly misleading the judge.  The judge is exploring whether other children in the foster home may have witnessed Naika Venant, the 14-year-old emotionally troubled foster child as she hanged herself.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia, the judge overseeing the case, demanded Florida’s regional child welfare legal director to appear in her court in March.

The current part of the case surrounds whether other children who witnessed the hanging might be in need of counseling. “The court is very concerned about the welfare and safety of the children living with N.V. at the time of her untimely death,” Judge Sampedro-Iglesia wrote in her order. Read the entire story here.

Naika’s family is being represented by Howard Talenfeld, the child advocacy attorney who represents children – and the families of children – injured, harmed, or who have died while under the watch or care of Florida child welfare services.

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