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Archive for January, 2016

Florida Supreme Court Rules for Lawyers for Foster Children

When the Florida Supreme Court issued its Juvenile Rules Opinion this week on requiring attorneys for Florida foster children with special needs, it was the successful culmination of a 10-year effort by the state’s leading foster child advocates, including the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program and Florida’s Children First (FCF), as well as the Legal Needs of Children Committee of The Florida Bar.

The Court ruled to implement legislation requiring legal representation for at-risk children facing administrative hearings. Read the ruling here.

Since the 1990s, FCF, the state’s premier child advocacy organization, and the GAL have worked closely advocating the legislation. They two organizations jointly submitted comments to the court supporting advancement of state legislation providing for attorneys ad litem and other programs to require legal representation for children in the child welfare system.


Florida Youth Shine Reaches 10 Year Milestone

Florida’s Children First (FCF) proudly celebrates 10 years of Florida Youth SHINE Advocacy! After FCF was established in 2002, Florida Youth SHINE was formed so that foster children could tell their stories and advocate for legislative change.

For the past ten years Florida Youth SHINE, a statewide organization now consisting of more than 200 former and current foster children, has been advocating around the state and in the Florida Legislature, for positive change to the system of care by using their experience and stories. In 2005, Florida’s Children First, a statewide group of child advocates (www.floridaschildrenfirst.org)  created Florida Youth SHINE because it believed that the youth are the experts and when making decisions about youth and it is critical to have a youth voice at the table. Florida Youth SHINE empowers their members to identify and share the issues they experienced and work for solutions through advocacy. One of the ways they do this is by educating others about the issues and improvements that need to be made.


Please join us for The Dylan Schopp Sunshine Foundation’s Sunshine at the Park

January 13th, 2016   No Comments   Uncategorized

Talenfeld Law is a proud sponsor of The Dylan Schopp Sunshine Foundation’s Sunshine at the Park event. Join us March 5th to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Get your tickets today: https://sunshineatthepark.eventbrite.com/


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.


Fort Lauderdale Children’s Rights Attorneys, Advocates to Gather for Broward Fundraiser

January 12th, 2016   No Comments   Advocacy

Lawyers, elected officials and advocates who fight for the rights of those harmed by child abuse, child sex abuse, or other personal injuries in the child welfare system will gather in February to help share a very important message. You are Invited to the Broward Child Advocacy Awards & Reception on Thursday, February 25, 2016, from 5:30 pm- 7:30pm at The Riverside Hotel (620 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale).

The event will honoring the Champion for Children – Dr. Frederick Lippman; the Child Advocates of the Year – Stuart Singer & Carl Goldfarb; and the Youth Advocate – Teirvondria McCall.


Phoebe Jonchuck’s Death Still Haunts Child Abuse Advocates

January 10th, 2016   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

Just about a year ago, Florida child advocates and attorneys who represent children who have been harmed by child abuse, sex abuse and other personal injuries were aghast at the story of Phoebe Jonchuck, the 5-year-old Central Florida girl whose father, John, threw her from a bridge into Tampa Bay. We all were left to wonder how a father could kill his daughter, what authorities might have known about Mr. Jonchuck’s and Phoebe’s lives leading up to this horrific event, and how it could have been prevented.

The Tampa Bay Times recently wrote a compelling story that compiles police, court and Florida Department of Children and Families records to recreate the brief history of Phoebe’s life. Reporters spoke with Phoebe’s mother and other relatives; in all, 50 people helped paint the story of the little girl – “a happy child who helped her kindergarten classmates zip their jackets and brought out the best in everyone who loved her. And they knew her father, a violent and unstable man.”