What is FCA?

Child Advocacy Blog


Archive for November, 2011

Penn State Sex Abuse Claims Highlight Need for ‘Moral’ and Legal Obligations to Report Crimes

November 16th, 2011   No Comments   Abuse

When graduate assistant Mike McQueary told Penn State head coach Joe Paterno about the alleged sexual child abuse he said took place by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on a minor in the school’s showers, some believe he adhered to his legal responsibility. But legal scholars, children’s rights attorneys and lawmakers wonder: Did he rise to his moral responsibility to see his allegations through?

According to USAToday, “Lawmakers and university officials across the USA are moving quickly to tighten up rules on who must report sexual abuse on campus in the wake of the Penn State scandal…A key issue likely to be debated in state legislatures is whether reports should go straight to police, and whether new laws are needed to shore up vague guidelines and polices about child safety on campus.”

Read the entire story here.

News: Florida DCF Lets Childcare Facilities Leave Complaints Behind

November 15th, 2011   No Comments   Abuse, Investigations

When a Brandenton childcare facility was cited numerous times for various violations in a single year, the owner moved sites – and left record of some 57 complaints behind, according to ABC Action News in Tampa. The move is completely legal, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

As parents, guardians and advocacy attorneys concerned with the safety of children, having information about caregiver licensing, security background checks or facility maintenance and upkeep is vital to avoiding personal injury, dangerous situations or potential abuse or harm. Yet, according to the news investigation, “Since DCF licenses the location and not the person who owns or operates the daycare, erasing complaints made against you is as easy as moving.” Read the entire story here.

Penn State Child Sex Case Reveals Lost Chances to Stop Abuse, Need for State Law to Report Abuse

November 14th, 2011   No Comments   Abuse

Outside observers, child advocates and attorneys following the Penn State University alleged child sexual abuse case of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky already see a pattern unfolding: adults keeping quiet and engaging in cover-up, children affected by a horrible personal injury growing in number, and a community left to wonder how this could happen. From Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to State College to around the nation, “The case has drawn comparisons to the child abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic Church, whose top officials are also accused of covering up child abuse over decades,” notes one paper.

The case also will bring to light the fact that, even though adults knew a child predator was afoot, no Pennsylvania law requires anyone alert the police. Florida has such a law. Sadly, in retrospect, Pennsylvania lawmakers might take this matter up during their next session.

That remains to be seen. In the meantime, the multi-point focus should be on helping the victims find the help they need, bringing all those involved to justice, and implementing safeguards and systems that help protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Florida Dept of Children and Families Backs Foster Kids’ Adoption

Florida wants its foster kids to find a home. During National Adoption Month, the state Department of Children and Families has launched an effort to help some 800 foster kids find permanent homes.

DCF Secretary David Wilkins launched the effort this week to get foster teenagers into permanent homes with loving parents. The issue is vital: Kids who “age out” or leave the state’s care when they become adults – and without having found foster homes – are at a greater risk of dropping out of school, being arrested or becoming homeless, according to a story in the Associated Press.

Read their stories on AdoptFlorida.org.  Read the original news story here.