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Florida Senator Eleanor Sobel to Host Town Hall Tuesday to Explore Rash of Child Deaths Under DCF Watch

Due to the recent rash of child deaths, the Legislative Caucuses of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach are hosting a tri-county delegation Town Hall Meeting. Department of Children and Families Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will attend. The details are as follows:

Tuesday, August 20
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Performing Cultural Arts Theatre
Broward College South Campus, Building 68B
7200 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

According to a press release, “The death of seven children in less than three months in our State is simply unacceptable,” said Sen. Eleanor Sobel. “We need to identify where the problems exist within the system and address them immediately.”

In the case of each death, the Department was aware of allegations of abuse and neglect at the hands of their caregivers and in each case the Department failed to remove the children from their custody. Prior to news of the most recent death, DCF Secretary David Wilkins resigned his position and has since been replaced by Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo.

Secretary Jacobo and the panel will be on hand to answer several other questions including: How thorough and to what extent is DCF involved in families? What issues are common to all these cases that may indicate systemic problems? What is the relationship between the DCF and Community Based Care (CBCs) entities? How was the new assessment tool by DCF for investigators developed and has it been field tested? Are there alternative assessment tools?

Anyone who is interested should attend this public meeting. Howard Talenfeld and I will be in attendance and will offer testimony. There is a 2-3 minute time limit, so we are offering written testimony also. Once we have it completed, we will share it with you.

Tri-County Delegation meeting on issues facing the Department of Children and Families

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