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South Florida Judge Blasts Agency for Foster Kids Forced into Cockfights

Every South Florida child advocate and foster abuse attorney fights to prevent child abuse, personal injury and other harm or damages like those a Miami judge saw in a video this month. He called the events they endured the result of ineptitude and incompetence. The judge was responding to the violent “cockfights” and brawls children at a Miami group home for foster kids were forced to perform – with the encouragement of an adult supervisor.

“I saw a cockfight … between foster kids,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said in court, according to news reports. The supervisor was “provoking and encouraging violence” as “these two boys battled it out and beat each other up.” The supervisor has since been fired.

The judge targeted his ire at Children’s Home Society of Florida, the company that operates foster homes throughout Miami-Dade, according to the Miami Herald. Our Kids of Miami-Dade, a nonprofit child welfare organization that also has a contract with the Florida Department of Children and Families, runs homes for CHS.

“What is really sad is these kids are abused, abandoned and neglected. And then they get taken from their parents. They come in expecting refuge,” the judge said, according to news reports. “And what they are subjected to is more abuse and neglect at the hands of ineptitude, and agencies who throw them in these group homes with incompetent people who stand around watching them have cockfights.”

Child advocates and every South Florida attorney who fights to prevent child abuse, sex abuse, personal injury and other harm or damages to children in the system are aghast at this recent display. Thankfully, the video found its way to Judge Hanzman. If you see or suspect child abuse of foster children or kids in the care of state agencies or their contracted providers, contact the Florida Child Abuse Hotline (800-962-2873), the authorities, or JusticeForKids.us.

The Florida Abuse Hotline receives calls, faxes, and web based reports from citizens and professionals with concerns of abuse, neglect, or exploitation on children and vulnerable adults in Florida.

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