Miami-Dade County, FL – April 24, 2017 - Florida Politics- Florence Snyder: Why children die, Part 4 — Clues in the resignation letters
In the wake of two suicides of teenage foster children in their “care,” the “leadership team” of Miami’s “community-based care” agency took their marbles and accrued benefits and went home.
Miami-Dade County, FL – April 20, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Foster care agency leaders quit amid teen suicides, other turmoil
Beset by turmoil over the recent suicides of two foster children in their care — and persistent complaints that they were overly secretive and unresponsive — three of the top administrators of Miami’s Our Kids child welfare agency have resigned.
Broward County, FL – April 12, 2017 - The Sun-Sentinel- South Florida teens victimized by human trafficking, officials warn
Human trafficking that ends with teens in sexual slavery is on the rise in South Florida, experts said Wednesday, warning that every family – regardless of income, education or location – could become a victim.
Florida Keys, FL – April 6, 2017 - The Miami Herald- How a suicidal Florida foster child fell through the cracks
When Lauryn Martin-Everett hanged herself at a troubled Tavernier youth shelter, children’s advocates in the small island community began asking questions. The answers, they were told, were hundreds of miles away.
Jacksonville, FL – April 6, 2017 - News4Jax- DCF data shows spike in child deaths in Jacksonville
Data from the Department of Children and Families reveals a sudden spike in child fatalities in the first three months of 2017, including one in January, three in February and seven in March.
Miami, FL – March 28, 2017 - Florida Politics- Did Florida DCF create media frenzy after foster child’s suicide to distract from agency errors?
Naika Venant’s mother vehemently refutes narratives by the state agency in a March 13 report, including suggestion she ‘allegedly’ commented on Facebook Live thread taunting daughter while watching and did nothing; lawyer says agencies ‘abysmally failed’ Naika.
Miami, FL – March 27, 2017 - The Palm Beach Post- Facebook Suicide: Antidepressants doubled for teen before hanging
A month before 14-yer-old Naika Venant hanged herself on Facebook Live while in foster care, a doctor doubled her dosage of anti-depressant, The Miami Herald reported.
Hollywood, FL – March 23, 2017 - The Sun-Sentinel- Lawsuit accuses child protection agency and sheriff's office of negligence in death of Hollywood boy
Attorneys representing the estate of a 3-year-old boy found dead in the laundry room of his family’s Hollywood home have filed a lawsuit against the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families, accusing the agencies of failing to protect the child when they should have known his life was in danger.
Miami, FL – March 23, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Girl in Facebook Live hanging was prescribed drug with suicide warning
When a Miami psychologist examined Naika Venant in June 2015, she found a “depressed, angry and fearful young girl” who thought often about death and dying. “She expects people to abandon and betray her,” the psychologist wrote.
Miami, FL – March 16, 2017 - The Washington Post- After a lifetime of foster homes and abuse, a 14-year-old broadcast her suicide on Facebook
Naika Venant was on Facebook Live for more than two hours before her suicide. Her viewers, some of them her friends, begged the 14-year-old to not go through with it.
Miami, FL – March 16, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Mom of Naika Venant: I thought hanging might have been stunt
It is the dead of night in a parked car somewhere in the city of Miami, and Naika Venant’s mother is awakened by a torrent of Facebook messages, indicating her daughter is committing suicide online.
Florence, AL – March 9, 2017 - The Times Daily- Foster parents charged
A Florida couple who were foster parents in Florence for seven years have been charged with hundreds of counts of child abuse, sexual abuse and other charges involving children they had adopted or were fostering.
Miami, FL – March 9, 2017 - The Miami Herald- DCF to judge: We didn’t lie; we made a mistake
Lawyers for the state’s shaky child welfare agency assured a Miami judge Wednesday that it was a “simple mistake,” rather than a deliberate lie, when they gave her incorrect information about a girl who might have witnessed the suicide of a foster sibling.
Tallahassee, FL – March 6, 2017 - Florida Politics- Range of DCF oversight issues, bills to be debated by Florida lawmakers this Session
As legislators in Tallahassee prepare themselves to convene their 60-day Session Tuesday, expect an assortment of proposed bills to be hashed out over the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Loxahatchee, FL – March 4, 2017 - The Palm Beach Post- BREAKING: DCF probes death of infant found with blanket around neck
An 11-month-old boy has died more than a week after his caregiver found him whimpering in his crib with a blanket wrapped around his neck.
Miami, FL – March 2, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Weeks after foster teen’s suicide, child welfare groups spar over system’s dysfunction
Naika Venant, the 14-year-old foster child whose live-streamed suicide last month became a rallying cry among critics of social media, is taking on another role: poster child for the dysfunctions of Miami’s long-troubled child welfare system.
Miami, FL – March 1, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Facebook uses old tech and new to combat live-streamed suicide
A month after a Miami-Dade teen took her own life in front of a Facebook Live audience — one of at least three people to do so in recent months — the social media giant is introducing new tools and harnessing artificial intelligence in hopes of detecting cries for help in time to do something.
Tallahassee, FL – February 20, 2017 - WTXL- Insiders: Fostering Hope
Adoption can be a blessing to both the child and the parent. In December, we ran a series called Fostering Hope where we showed you nearly three dozen children who were hoping for adoption.
Tallahassee, FL – February 17, 2017 - The Sun-Sentinel- Foster families honored during appreciation week
Last year the Florida Senate passed a bill designating the second week of February as Foster Family Appreciation Week, encouraging the Department of Children and Families, local governments and other agencies to sponsor events to promote awareness of the contributions made by foster families to the state.
Miami, FL – February 7, 2017 - WLRN- DCF Seeks Answers After Teen’s Suicide
Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll told a Senate panel Monday that the agency is looking at why services were not effective in preventing the death last month of foster child Naika Venant, who hanged herself and broadcast it on social media.
Miami, FL – January 31, 2017 - The Miami Herald- Child welfare workers in Facebook Live hanging threatened with contempt
A Miami child welfare judge threatened to hold child welfare workers in contempt of court for failing to appear before her Tuesday morning to help explain “what went wrong” before a 14-year-old hanged herself while live-streaming the tragedy on Facebook.
Miami, FL – January 26, 2017 - The New York Daily News- Mother of 14-year-old girl who broadcast suicide on Facebook Live points finger at foster care
The mother of Naika Venant, the 14-year-old girl who took to a Facebook Live stream to broadcast her own suicide, is pointing the finger at Florida foster care after the tragedy.
Tampa, FL – January 20, 2017 - The Tampa Bay Times- Florida child welfare system under-performing for foster kids, study finds
A federal agency has given the Florida Department of Children and Families 90 days to come up with a plan to improve its care of foster kids after a study found the state is underperforming in critical areas.
Boynton Beach, FL – January 7, 2017 - CBS 12- New details in death of Boynton Beach baby
The Florida Department of Children and Families now says the 11-month-old that died on Christmas Eve had a cracked skull and a knot on his forehead.
Tallahassee, FL – December 27, 2016 - WTXL ABC 27- Fostering Hope: Aliyah
Everyday this month we here at WTXL are highlighting children in need of forever homes with the help of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Tampa, FL – December 17, 2016 - WFTV 9- Investigation launched after infant dies in foster care
Florida detectives have launched a criminal investigation into the death of a 17-month-old boy in foster care who was about to be placed with adoptive parents.
Fort Lauderdale, FL – December 14, 2016 - Attorney at Law Magazine- Howard Talenfeld Honored as Child Advocate of the Year by The Heart Gallery of Broward County
Howard M. Talenfeld, a preeminent children’s rights attorney, was recognized by the Heart Gallery of Broward County as Child Advocate of the Year at the annual “Eat Your Heart Out” culinary feast.
Tallahassee, FL – November 15, 2016 - SaintPetersBlog- DCF receives $8 million grant to fund community-based projects targeting domestic violence and sexual assault
The Florida Department of Children and Families announced Monday it will receive $8 million in federal money to fund services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in underserved communities.
Miami, FL – November 1, 2016 - The Miami Herald- Adopting children transforms lives
November is National Adoption Month. Children across the state of Florida are waiting for someone to become their heroes through foster care or adoption.
Palm Beach County, FL – October 19, 2016 - The Palm Beach Post- DCF records show baby’s death; parents face murder, abuse charges
Tayla Aleman was born weighing a healthy 9 pounds. She died a year and one month later weighing only 7, and bearing a diaper rash and a black eye.
Pembroke Pines, FL – October 13, 2016 - The Miami Herald- 17-year-old dies at Pembroke Pines drug treatment center
Police and state juvenile justice administrators are investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy at a Pembroke Pines drug treatment center for delinquent youths.
North Fort Myers, FL – October 10, 2016 - NBC 2- North Fort Myers parents jailed after filthy house discovered
A North Fort Myers couple was jailed and their kids taken into DCF custody after investigators found their home in a filthy state and the couple's son was found wandering near a busy street.
Miami, FL – September 29, 2016 - The Miami Herald- Judge finds autistic Miami man ‘incompetent’ to stand trial on child-porn charges
Tony Rodriguez, an autistic Miami man with an IQ of 73, is no longer a criminal defendant facing trial on charges of downloading child porn.
Zephyrhills, FL – September 26, 2016 - WTSP 10 News- DCF chief orders probe in death of Zephyrhills boy
Officials continue to investigate the suspicious death of 18-month-old who passed away inside his home early Saturday.
Merritt Island, FL – September 21, 2016 - WFTV- Deputies: 3 Merritt Island children neglected for years
Investigators said three Brevard County children were neglected for years.
Miami, FL – September 16, 2016 - The Miami Herald- Brother of girl discarded in dumpster told judge about mom’s rat-infested home
The June 12, 2015, hearing in Broward child welfare court was either a last chance to save 1-year-old Angela Dufrene before she vanished — or an opportunity to discover she was missing before more than a year would pass.
Palm Harbor, FL – September 11, 2016 - The Miami Herald- A dad accidentally leaves toddler in hot car. How will he be judged?
A loving father inadvertently leaves his toddler son in a pickup truck during a typically scorching Florida summer's day. The child dies.
Miami-Dade County, FL – September 3, 2016 - The Miami Herald- The machinations used to deny care to one disabled foster kid
No one at Florida’s disabilities agency disputes that S.J. is an unfortunate soul who needs help from the state just to survive.
Broward County, FL – August 31, 2016 - NBC 6 Miami- Broward Youth Soccer Coach Accused of Sexual Battery
A well-known Broward County soccer coach is facing multiple charges of sexual battery on a minor, authorities said.
Miami Gardens, FL – August 23, 2016 - The Miami Herald- Judge orders seven children found in house of filth to remain in foster care
Seven children, between the ages of 1 and 9 years old, are in protective custody after being found in a house of filth in Miami Gardens.
Miami, FL – August 20, 2016 - The Miami Herald- Confidential file on missing child reveals mom’s rage, DCF’s bungling
When Marjorie Dufrene’s hyperactive, developmentally disabled son refused to concentrate on his homework on Thanksgiving Day of 2011, she beat him with a belt so severely that he required surgery to restore vision to his left eye.