Jacksonville, FL – November 18, 2014 - News4Jax- Florida Children's cabinet sets new course
Members of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet on Tuesday said they wanted to re-establish the cabinet as a "bully pulpit" for children, with better coordination among the state agencies that serve kids and more political backing from Gov. Rick Scott.
Jacksonville, FL – November 13, 2014 - News4Jax- Doctors concerned over child abuse deaths
Doctors and nurses at Wolfson Children's Hospital said they're extremely concerned after dealing with several cases of children dying because of abuse.
Milam County, TX – November 6, 2014 - The Houston Press- Texas Girl Was Taken Away From Parents Because They Smoked Pot, Only to Be Killed in Foster Care
Little Alex Hill would have been turning four-years-old this Friday. But rather than celebrating their child's birthday, the toddler's parents have only the bitter consolation of seeing a judge in Milam County hand Alex's foster mother a life sentence for murder.
Tallahassee, FL– November 2, 2014 - The Tallahassee Democrat- Know how election would affect kids
Florida’s child advocates who fight for the rights of at-risk children are not satisfied with where the Florida governor’s race has placed children’s issues on the list of talking points.
Broward County, FL– October 23, 2014 - The Miami Herald- As Broward child wasted away, protectors looked but didn’t see
For about nine months, foster care caseworkers and their bosses made 13 visits to the Lauderhill home of Tamiyah Audain, held 30-minute meetings, conferred with other social service workers and filed numerous reports, all of which documented the preteen was in good health. She was actually losing half her body weight and slowly filling with poisons.
Tallahassee, FL– October 22, 2014 - The Daily Business Review- Advocates Say Children's Issues Missing From Campaign
Florida children may not be able to vote for governor, but they still have a lot at stake in the race. And as the campaign hurtles to a close, advocates say they're frustrated that the future of the state's youngest residents hasn't played a larger role in the discussion.
Miami, FL– October 15, 2014 - The Tampa Tribune- Scott claim of fewer child abuse deaths questioned
Republican Gov. Rick Scott repeatedly tells voters that abused and neglected children are safer under his leadership than when his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist was governor, but an Associated Press examination of that claim shows that campaign claim may be an exaggeration.
Port St. Lucie, FL– October 9, 2014 - WESH 2 Orlando- DCF didn't fully vet foster Florida dad charged with death
The Florida Department of Children and Families may not have fully vetted a Port St. Lucie foster parent charged with murdering a 2-year-old boy in his care.
Bell, FL– September 29, 2014 - ABC Action News- Sheriff: DCF was warned about Don Spirit in 2013, now accused of killing six children, daughter
Alachua County's sheriff says Florida's child welfare agency was warned in 2013 that a man who fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren should be kept away from them.
Bell, FL– September 24, 2014 - Action News Jax- Bell shooting: Warning signs reported more than a year ago
A new report obtained from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office shows a deputy assisted Department of Children and Families interviewing the Spirit family children and their grandmother in early June 2013.
Bell, FL– September 22, 2014 - The Miami Herald- DCF was alerted 2 weeks before deadly rampage in Bell, Florida
The Spirit family that child welfare investigators confronted two weeks ago presented a volatile mix: two drug-abusing adults, six small children and a history of violence.
Miami, FL– September 18, 2014 - The Miami Herald- Miami-Dade, Monroe get new DCF chief
The Department of Children & Families has appointed a new chief for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, another change for an agency that has been criticized for failing to protect children from abusive caretakers.
Winter Park, FL– September 17, 2014 - The Orlando Sentinel- Workers abused autistic residents at Winter Park home, officials say
Three former employees of a Winter Park residential home for people with autism were charged with abuse, officials said Tuesday.
Miami, FL– September 15, 2014 - The Miami Herald- Nubia Barahona’s adoptive sister sues DCF
The adoptive sister of Nubia Barahona, the child whose gruesome death while under the care of her adoptive father and mother shook Florida a few years ago, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Florida Department of Children & Families, a child welfare worker, and two former DCF investigators.
Mt. Dora, FL– September 14, 2014 - NBC News- 'Mom, Please Help': FBI Probing Alleged Abuse of Deaf, Autistic Kids
The FBI is investigating the alleged abuse and neglect of vulnerable deaf and autistic children at a residential treatment center in Florida, NBC News has learned.
Tallahassee, FL– August 29, 2014 - The Daily Business Review- Child Death Review Panel Sets Ambitious Agenda
The state panel charged with reviewing child deaths set an ambitious agenda against a tight deadline in hopes of reducing as many child deaths as possible.
Broward County, FL– August 28, 2014 - The Sun-Sentinel- Let a girl starve to death, you should get in trouble
How do you let a 12-year-old disabled girl starve to death slowly?
Broward County, FL– August 27, 2014 - The Miami Herald- Florida child welfare worker, 3 others charged in girl’s starvation death
Four women were charged in connection with the death of 12-year-old Tamiyah Audain, who died of starvation.
Miami, FL– August 18, 2014 - The Miami Herald- DCF was warned before boy was mauled to death by father's dogs
Three years before Javon Dade Jr. was mauled to death by his father’s dogs, state child protection workers were warned about “the smell and danger” of the six “untrained dogs” living in an apartment with Javon’s family.
Tallahassee, FL– August 16, 2014 - My News 13- Florida DCF system to be used in national pilot program
A system used by the Florida Department of Children and Families will be used as model in an upcoming national pilot project.
Miami, FL– August 13, 2014 - The Bradenton Herald- DCF accused of rigging grand jury findings in a report Miami judge calls a 'fraud'
Critics of a grand jury report citing improvements at DCF — including some members of the grand jury — say the panel heard only one side.
Naples, FL– July 31, 2014 - The Naples Florida Weekly- Foster Care’s Looming Crisis
More children are entering the child welfare system. More foster parents are needed to love these children as their own, then let them go.
Tallahassee, FL– July 26, 2014 - The Florida Times Union- Expert advocates 'baby court' for traumatized infants, toddlers
An expert on childhood trauma urged members of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet to promote a “baby court” model in which judges, lawyers and caseworkers put the needs of traumatized infants and toddlers before any other considerations.
Jacksonville, FL– July 26, 2014 - The Florida Times Union- As DCF opens child death data, it still may not be enough
The vignettes are stark and the statistics grim, but the depth of a new Department of Children and Families website that tracks child deaths is falling short of some early expectations.
Daytona Beach, FL– July 23, 2014 - The Daytona Beach News-Journal- Help reduce child deaths
The Florida Department of Children & Families is committed to reducing child deaths. This is an achievable goal, but we can’t reach it alone. To make progress, we need the community’s help and we need it now.
Tampa, FL– July 16, 2014 - The Miami Herald- Finding foster homes for 800 special needs kids
Florida child welfare officials are pleading with residents to consider opening their home to a foster child with special needs.
Tallahassee, FL– July 14, 2014 - The Naples Daily News- Florida has more than 1,400 new foster homes
Florida has more than 1,400 new foster homes.
Apopka, FL– July 11, 2014 - WFTV Channel 9- Foster mom bonds out of jail after child left in car at Publix
A foster care parent bonded out of the Orange County Jail Friday morning after police said she left a young child in a car at a Publix grocery store on Thursday.
Tampa Bay, FL– July 9, 2014 - The Tampa Bay Times- Law protecting children requires followup, funding
With regard to recent reports about the 477 children who died who were known by the Department of Children and Families to potentially be at risk, the cases all involved the DCF's knowledge from prior investigations of children who would be in danger of future serious harm or death if left with their families.
Tampa, FL– July 8, 2014 - the Tampa Tribune- New child-safety law must be monitored
With regard to recent reports about the deaths of 477 children who were known by the Florida Department of Children and Families to potentially be at risk, the cases all involved DCF’s knowledge from prior investigations of children who would be in danger of future serious harm or death if left with their families.
Tallahassee, FL– June 26, 2014 - WFSU- Scott Signs Last Bill Of 2014 Session Aimed At Helping Florida's Disabled Kids
Governor Rick Scott has signed the final bill delivered to his desk into law Wednesday aimed at helping children with special needs.
Tallahassee, FL– June 23, 2014 - The Palm Beach Post- Fla. governor signs bill to overhaul child welfare
In response to a series of damning media reports about the deaths of children who had contact with the Department of Children and Families before their deaths, Governor Rick Scott signed a law today which strengthens child welfare laws and increases resources to protect children from abuse and neglect.
Tampa, FL– June 20, 2014 - The Tampa Bay Times- Fight scourge of domestic violence
Child advocate attorneys like myself often fight in courtrooms and the public realm to protect the rights, health and welfare of Florida's at-risk children. But all too often, the worst abuses go on in places we cannot see or reach — behind a family's closed doors.
Tallahassee, FL– June 13, 2014 - The Tampa Bay Times- Lawmaker calls DCF inquiry into child deaths a "whitewash''
A Department of Children & Families investigation into the withholding and possible destruction of child death records was completed this week without generating a single record.
Orlando, FL– June 11, 2014 - WFTV 9- Family of toddler found dead investigated previously
WFTV learned there were three previous investigations into the parents of a toddler who was found dead inside an Orange County hotel room from what investigators said was severe abuse.
Miami, FL– June 4, 2014 - The Miami Herald- Guardian ad Litem volunteers make a difference in children’s lives
The Guardian ad Litem Program, a volunteer-based organization, advocates for the best interests of our communities’ most vulnerable population: children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. These children, through no fault of their own, become part of an overburdened dependency system.
Broward County, FL– June 1, 2014 - The Sun-Sentinel- Foster care kids continue to grow in number in Broward
Economic indicators may finally be trending upward in Broward County after the recession, but the area has seen a significant increase in the number of children in foster care over the last 18 months.
Tallahassee, FL– May 23, 2014 - The Daily Business Review- Children's Advocacy Bill Awaits Governor's Signature
For decades, Florida case law said children, unlike parents, have no constitutional right to an attorney in dependency court.
Tallahassee, FL– May 15, 2014 - The Miami Herald- New DCF boss names child death prevention czar
In his second week on the job, the Department of Children & Families’ top administrator made good on his first formal pledge by appointing a professional social worker and agency veteran to be the state’s first statewide fatality prevention specialist.
Miami, FL– May 14, 2014 - WLRN- Understanding The Guardian Ad Litem Program
A Guardian ad Litem is the court-appointed voice of a child when government agencies suspect abuse or neglect. But the GAL program is, on the surface, unusual.
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