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Miami Herald: Judge Rebukes DCF Over Kids Placement in Home Where Boy Died

When child welfare authorities tried to keep three children in the home their cousin recently had died of apparent abuse, a Miami judge lashed out at administrators. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Rosa Figarola labeled the Department of Children and Families’ handling of the case “troubling,” and refused DCF’s request Tuesday.

Figarola “instead ordered the children into foster care,” the Miami Herald reported. “The next day, Figarola shot off a blistering email to agency administrators, accusing them of seeking to leave three small chidlren in harm’s way.”

The case stems from the death of 3-year-old Gerardo Perez, who was unresponsive at Homestead Hospital with bruises and bite marks on his body. His teeth were severely rotten teeth. He died on Monday. Child welfare authorities first sought to remove the other children. Then they asked a judge to leave the children, ages 3, 2 and 1, with their father, who pledge to keep the dead boy’s mother and his sister out of the house.

“The handling of this case illustrates that the same systematic failures that have plagued the Department and given rise to the devastation we recently observed are still being executed,” Figarola wrote. Read the entire story here.

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