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Florida Department of Children and Families Fires Workers, Plans Changes – But Will Children Be Safer?

The Florida Department of Children and Families this week fired several workers and reprimanded others involved with the Nubia and Victor Barahona abuse case. But guardians and child welfare advocates are left to wonder: Will the dismissals and scoldings be sufficient? Will anything short of a systemic overhaul at DCF result in meaningful change at the agency that was chided by a panel for its “model of fatal ineptitude.”

As the Miami Herald wrote, just a “month after 10-year-old Nubia Barahona was found dead in the bed of her adoptive father’s pickup truck, state child welfare administrators fired two workers connected with the case, including the investigator assigned to an abuse report four days before the girl’s body was located.”

DCF Secretary David Wilkins also proposed changes to the beleaguered agency. Among his suggestions: a new model for performance measurement at the Florida Abuse Hotline (1-800-962-2873), the addition of some 80 child protective investigators, and a re-examination of investigators’ role as part of Florida’s child welfare system. Read the entire story here.

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