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Archive for November, 2014

Florida’s Children First Celebrates Successful Jacksonville Awards

November 9th, 2014   No Comments   Advocacy

Florida foster child attorneys and advocates for at-risk children in Jacksonville and throughout North Florida this month celebrated Jacksonville’s finest children’s advocates and outstanding youth advocates at the Jacksonville Child Advocacy Awards & Reception. The event was held on November 6.

The event supported Florida’s Children First, Inc. (FCF), the leading state-wide advocacy organization for children in the child welfare system. FCF does amazing work statewide and when advocates learn about FCF’s accomplishments, they often become part of making a substantial, positive change for Florida’s foster kids. View the event photo gallery.

The Jacksonville Host Committee included Co-Chairs John “Jake” Schickel and Connie Byrd, and Joe Camerlengo, Rebekah Gleason Hope, Wayne Hogan, Jay Howell, Richard C. Komando, Eric Leach, Sarah Markman, Bruce Maxwell, Jodi Seitlin, Seth Shapiro, Charlene Shirk, Dr. Mary Soha, Dr. Michael Solloway, Valerie Stanley, Howard Talenfeld, Justin Taylor and Jesse Wilson.


Foster Child Injured, Killed by Foster Parents Highlights Outdated Laws

November 7th, 2014   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy, Court Cases

In a case of egregious physical abuse of an injured foster child, a girl taken from her parents and handed to foster parents, who then fatally injured her, represents a horror story for any family facing outdated and dangerous laws. This case was in Texas, but it could have been anywhere. Alex Hill was 2 years old when she was taken from her birth parents for their marijuana use while the child slept in her bed. Her foster mother, whose husband had a long rap sheet for a variety of crimes, including drug use, recently was sentenced to life in prison for murder.

“By all accounts, towheaded Alexandria ‘Alex’ Hill, was a healthy and happy toddler, living with healexhillr parents,” wrote the Houston Press. “But [once she was removed from her home], Alex’s parents began to notice red flags about the conditions in the first home during visitations with their daughter…Alex had noticeable bruises, and the couple also found mold & mildew in the little girl’s bag.”

The case exemplifies not only how outdated drug laws that some states still have on the books and put foster children in jeopardy of physical abuse and wrongful death. But more importantly, as in Florida, the relationship between the state and its contracted community-based care providers raised ample questions.