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Community, Advocates Demand Change to Florida Department of Children and Families and Private Lead Agencies Hired to Protect Children

March 12th, 2011   No Comments   Abuse, Adoption, Advocacy

The report is in from the panel investigating the death of Nubia Barahona, 10, and critical injuries to her twin brother, Victor (read the report here). An editorial from WPLG Channel 10 in Miami held no punches in calling for a total overhaul of the Florida Department of Children and Families for its inability to prevent abuse to children. The Palm Beach Post questioned the role of private lead agencies serving DCF — and requests by them to provide sovereign immunity protections that will cap personal injury damage claims by lawyers.

WPLG wrote how “…past failures have prompted changes at DCF, just not enough. A broken, bureaucratic system needs to be dismantled and staffed with people held accountable. Children’s lives depend on it.”

At the same time, Gov. Rick Scott is calling for deep cuts to DCF, and Secretary David Wilkins blamed issues on high turnover, during a hearing before state lawmakers.

The take-away is this: Our Kids, the lead agency responsible for the overall system, needs to be held accountable for permitting the adoption of Nubia and Victor Barahona. If CEO Fran Allegra does not admit fault, improvement will not come — and more children will slip through the cracks of this dysfunctional and unaccountable system. And more harm will come.

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