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Fla Lawmakers Debate Continuing Child Protection System Issues

A recent series of articles in USA Today again indicted Florida’ s failing privatized child protection system, including an interview with Florida child advocate Stacie Schmerling on a horrific case of child sexual abuse in Ocala. Since the release of the articles, Florida lawmakers and child welfare leaders have debated the best route of care for our state’s youth. While it had once been common practice to keep families together, several years ago Florida’s leaders changed its policy resulting in the placement of more children into state care. As a result, an overwhelming number of children entered the system and were, sadly, put in greater danger of abuse, neglect and catastrophic injury when these children were placed with abusive foster parents.

According to an article from WFSU, “Before the big change in policy, the Florida Department of Children and Families used to have total responsibility for the foster care system. But it’s now being run by seventeen regional community based care organizations.”

As we approach the 2021 Florida legislative session, lawmakers are debating the best plan to fix these growing issues. Read more about the various reform platforms in this article from WFSU.

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