What is FCA?

Child Advocacy Blog


Archive for March, 2010

Bill Could Protect Florida Disabled, Seniors, Day Care Kids

News that the Florida House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill requiring more strict background screenings for employees at its nursing homes and day care centers is an important step in protecting the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Though the bill now goes to the Florida Senate, it has the support of Gov. Charlie Crist and foster and child care advocates statewide. He was quoted as saying, “Florida must continue making significant strides to ensure the safety of those individuals in our care.”

If signed into law, this bill will help shore up the state’s efforts — and reveal lawmakers’ commitment — to protect it’s vulnerable citizens. They are to be lauded for this effort.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the bill would require “nationwide background checks and tighter restrictions on people with criminal histories… [the bill] was filed after a Sun Sentinel series in September found that Florida’s caregivers included convicted felons and career criminals with records for rape, child abuse and even murder.”

Read the entire story here…

Child Advocate Brian Cabrey Works to Protect Florida’s Most Vulnerable

Brian Cabrey is known throughout the Florida legal community as a staunch advocate for foster children, and abused and neglected kids statewide. He has volunteered countless hours on their behalf and sits on the board of Florida’s Children First.

Brian’s work also includes “damages claims against the Florida Department of Children and Families ( DCF ) and its employees where foster children are physically and sexually abused in care.”

In this article from the Florida Times Union, Brian is recognized for his tireless efforts…

Brian Cabrey cares about the children.

His office in the Modis building in downtown Jacksonville is full of pictures of his family. Most of his free time revolves around his four children, aged 2 through 13, and their activities in sports and with Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

And when he’s in his office, Cabrey, a lawyer, is often working on behalf of children. (more…)

Sun-Sentinel Society Scene Covers Florida’s Children First Event

March 12th, 2010   No Comments   Fundraising & Support

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel gave major play to the recent Florida’s Children First fundraiser and event honoring Florida Bar President Jesse H. Diner. See the coverage here.

The annual event, held in Fort Lauderdale, raised more than $100,000 for foster children, vulnerable citizens and programs statewide. In attendance were child advocates, attorneys, judges and others involved in supporting children’s needs.

Snapshots of Foster Care Generosity: Florida’s Children First Attendees Give Their Money and Time

March 6th, 2010   No Comments   Fundraising & Support

When more than 300 attorneys, child advocates, judges and honorees gathered for the Fort Lauderdale Child Advocate Awards and Reception of Florida’s Children First (FCF) in February, they represented the scope of statewide legal advocacy focused on protecting the rights of at-risk and foster care children.

Florida Bar President Jesse Diner and Howard Talenfeld

Florida Bar President Jesse Diner and FCF President Howard Talenfeld

They also represented the depth of the Florida legal community’s commitment to protecting society’s most vulnerable citizens.

FCF’s annual Broward event recognized attorney and Florida Bar President Jesse H. Diner for his support of legislation designed to obtain counsel children in foster care and the dependency system, and support for important recommendations of the Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee.

Anchorwoman Kristi Krueger and FCF Exec. Dir. Christina Spudeas

Anchorwoman Kristi Krueger and FCF Exec. Dir. Christina Spudeas

Attendees heard how Mr. Diner has been a staunch champion of the passage of legislation to provide attorneys and zealous advocacy for foster children — and how such representation would effectively reduce or eliminate the powerlessness children face when entering the legal system.

He also has backed the Florida Bar Association’s effort to recruit and train pro bono lawyers to represent these children.

Honoree Jesse Diner, Adele Stone, and Broward Judge John Luzzo

Honoree Jesse Diner, Adele Stone, and Broward Judge John Luzzo

Florida’s Children First is supported by sponsors Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate; Regions Bank; United Automobile Insurance Group; Boardroom Communications Inc.; White & Case; American National Bank; President’s Fest in the Park; among others.

To learn more, or to make a contribution, call the Broward office of Florida’s Children First at 954-796-0860 or send an email to fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org.

Broward Judge Andrew Siegel, FCF Board Member Julie Talenfeld, and David Singer

Broward Judge Andrew Siegel, FCF Board Member Julie Talenfeld, and David Singer

From its Website, Florida’s Children First’s  staff, board members, volunteers and advocates devote their time to ensure that each child in care or in an at-risk situation will have a voice that is heard when decisions are made.  We use legislative and policy advocacy, executive branch education and advocacy, training and technical assistance to lawyers and Guardians Ad Litem representing children, public awareness, and filing of amicus briefs as strategies to improve child serving systems.

Florida’s Children First Honors Attorney, Florida Bar President Jesse H. Diner

March 1st, 2010   No Comments   Fundraising & Support

Diner Lauded For Commitment to Legal Representation for Foster Children; Event Celebrates Success Stories, Raises $100,000 for Advocacy Statewide

Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Florida’s Children First (FCF), the statewide legal advocacy organization focused on protecting the legal rights of at-risk and foster care children, honored Mr. Jesse H. Diner and several foster care success stories at its Child Advocate Awards and Reception in February.

The event, held in Fort Lauderdale, was attended by more than 300 attorneys, child advocates, elected officials, judges, community and business leaders, and others concerned about the future of Florida’s children, especially abused, abandoned and neglected children and youth. The event raised some $100,000 for the organization.

“As President of the Florida Bar, Jesse has utilized his position as Florida Bar President to advance the rights of foster children to legal representation in Florida,” said FCF President Howard Talenfeld. The other foster care honorees included Michael Lewis, who was honored as the Young Adult Honoree, and Linsey Brewster-Jenkins and Alexeve Jenkins, who were honored as FCF’s Foster / Adoptive Family of the Year. “They serve as a role models and inspiration for any of us who strive to improve how Florida’s vulnerable children are treated.” (more…)

Innocence Lost: Florida Lawsuit Alleges DCF Sent Girl to Abusive Setting

March 1st, 2010   No Comments   Abuse

Children should know they’re beautiful and loved. They should feel safe, welcome and comfortable surrounded by family and friends.

Yet one girl felt none of these. At 7, she was placed by the Florida Department of Children and Families into an overcrowded foster home, shared a bed with another foster child, and ultimately was sexually molested by the foster parent. She lost more than her innocence. She lost her trust in others and a chance at a normal future.

Now 12, her adoptive mother is trying to help the girl regain her trust – and a normal life. A lawsuit filed against the Florida DCF and YMCA seeks to ensure normalcy for the girl – and future state wards.

In the St. Petersburg Times story of February 27, 2010, “Lawsuit Alleges DCF and YMCA Sent Girl into Sexually Abusive Situation,” it was reported that the first time the Florida woman took her adoptive daughter to the dentist, an assistant asked if the girl had been sexually assaulted. (more…)