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South Florida Child Abuse Attorney: Rise in Children Removed From Homes Leaves Advocates Puzzled

July 8th, 2013   No Comments   Advocacy, Commentary

Across Broward County, child advocates and children’s rights attorneys are puzzled by the growing number of children who are being removed from their homes over concerns of physical abuse and sexual abuse. Those who know the situation realize the matter likely extends beyond Fort Lauderdale to Miami and West Palm Beach.

To some advocates and attorneys who represent foster children and other at-risk kids in personal injury and damages cases, the numbers are disturbing.

“When they take a child from a family they are harmed. It’s traumatic,” Howard Talenfeld, president of advocacy group Florida’s Children First, told the Sun-Sentinel. “There are lots of things we hope they are doing before they take the children away.”

According to the Sun-Sentinel, “The number of Broward children removed from their homes over abuse and neglect concerns has increased in the past year, confounding child welfare officials who are struggling to pinpoint the reasons for the rise.”

Over the past year, some 1,525 children were removed by Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators from their families. This was up from 1,129 children during the year prior.

Child advocates say the state’s abuse hotline could be one reason; more cases of suspected abuse reported by law by healthcare providers, social workers and teachers could be leading to more actions. Even news of children suffering personal injury or abuse might be prompting some witnesses to call in suspected abuse.

But if taking kids from their families is the first course of action, it could leave some to wonder what harm ultimately may be done.

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