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Foster Child Attorney: Proposed Federal Changes to Florida Disabled Child Program Welcome

Florida child advocates, attorneys and legal guardians who have seen physical abuse, mistreatment and neglect of the state’s most medically and at-risk disabled children applaud the U.S. Department of Justice proposed overhaul of the state’s programs for these vulnerable populations – even as  leaders from the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Healthcare Administration defend their practices.

The federal government this week pressured state leaders to improve its care and treatment of those children who suffer from severe medical conditions. The harsh indictment of Florida’s program and history of care for this population came in the form of a 17-page settlement proposal from federal civil rights lawyers, who offered “a comprehensive blueprint for overhauling the state’s system of care for frail youngsters,” wrote the Miami Herald.

In it, the DOJ “demands the state stop slicing in-home nursing services for frail youngsters, stop ignoring the requests of family doctors who treat disabled children and stop sending hundreds of children to geriatric nursing homes — where they often spend their childhoods isolated from families and peers,” the paper wrote.

Meanwhile, leaders from heads of three state agencies, including the Agency for Healthcare Administration and the Florida Department of Children and Families, defended at a Tallahassee news conference the state’s process of housing of hundreds of disabled children in nursing homes.

Read the entire article here.

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