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DCF Admits Steps Missed to Protect Riviera Beach Family, Prevent Tragedy

September 30th, 2010   No Comments   Abuse, News & Events

The Florida Department of Children and Families continues to perform well at keeping at-risk children out of the foster care and other state systems. But administrators must see that appropriate protective services are used to ensure tragedies like what happened in Riviera Beach don’t happen again.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Perry Borman, DCF Southeast Regional Director, acknowledged that the agency could have done more to protect Natasha Whyte-Dell and her four children. The five were slain by husband and step-father Patrick Alexander Dell.

In a related story, it was reported this week that the DCF had found that Dell was not a threat to his family. This came after a police report cited that Dell had threatened his wife with a knife in December and yelled “you will be going to the morgue.” A child protective investigator later determined that the case was a low risk, because Dell “stated that he would never harm the children.”

DCF had acknowledged that Dell had been angry and violent, and was investigated in January after he allegedly attacked his wife. According to Borman, at least a half dozen steps could have been taken by the agency to help ensure the family’s safety.  ‘Instead, the agency’s investigation was closed after 30 days and concluded the children were not at ‘significant risk,'” the paper reported Borman saying. Read the entire story here.

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