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3rd Annual Youth Anti-Human Trafficking Summit in Broward County on Jan 8

December 23rd, 2021   No Comments   Uncategorized

After Rilya Wilson, a foster child, disappeared in 2001, we knew there were 400 children missing from our child protection system on any given day. DCF used to post the names, dob, number and was required to take specific actions. Does anyone know how many children are missing from Florida’s Child Protection system today? Thank you to our Children’s Services Council of Broward County for shedding a light on this critical issue!

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Tampa Bay Times: Pinellas sheriff blasted foster agency, but his investigators removed children at a higher rate than any other county

December 21st, 2021   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in November announced a criminal investigation into Eckerd Connects after a child was injured and another overdosed at an unlicensed Largo office where foster children that the agency could not place slept in “deplorable conditions.”

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Kelley Kronenberg Expands Justice for Kids Division with the Addition of Kayla Riera-Gomez

December 16th, 2021   No Comments   Uncategorized

Kelley Kronenberg is excited to announce that Kayla Riera-Gomez has joined the firm’s Justice for Kids Division as a Partner. Justice for Kids is a national practice dedicated to providing legal services to abused, disabled, and catastrophically injured children harmed in foster care, shelters, residential treatment centers, group homes, and other child welfare settings, as well as all children harmed by the acts of others.

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South Florida Mother Fights for Greyson’s Law After the Tragic and Preventable Murder of Her 4-Year-Old Son

After living a parent’s worst nightmare for six months, Ali Kessler, along with an army of Family Court advocates and local politicians, finally received news that Greyson’s Law was filed in the state of Florida. Kessler has been fighting for legislation that would allow judges to remove a child from a home over concerns that one parent is threatening or abusing the other. Kessler said to MSNBC, “I have to fight for my son who can’t fight for himself.”

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Florida Today: Police investigation: DCF alerted at least 6 times before mother charged with manslaughter of infant son

As reported by Florida Today, a police investigation revealed the state Department of Children and Family Services had been called at least six times regarding abuse allegations in the case of a mother who now faces a charge of manslaughter in connection to the death of her infant son.

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Nearly 1,000 foster care kids missing in Missouri according to report

November 12th, 2021   No Comments   Foster Care

According to Missouri TV station KY3,  a case study by the U.S. Inspector General’s Office shows that nearly 1,000 foster kids went missing from the foster care system in 2019 from that state. The inspector’s report noted that foster children are at a higher risk of being reported missing. What’s even more sad is that of these missing foster children cases, sex trafficking plays a large role.

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Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, over 2,700 Children Came into the Custody of Illinois’ Already Struggling Child Welfare System

A year and a half into the Covid-19 Pandemic, the existing problems with Illinois’ child welfare system have worsened. In April 2020, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received only 47% of the calls it did in April 2019. This drop in calls was largely attributed to the fact that children were confined to homes and not in as close contact with teachers, police officers, medical professionals, and other mandated reporters who would typically report problems to DCFS. Moreover, last March was the first time national abuse hotlines received a majority of calls from minors reporting on their own behalf. The drop in reports is a worrying trend, according to experts. About 80% of child sexual abuse cases occur without any witnesses. With many children still confined to their homes, the number of unreported abuses is likely to be shockingly high.  Zoom provides some insight for teachers and medical professionals, but it does not always show the full picture of a child’s behavior. Families themselves have been going to police stations to report abuse.

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WTSP: Pinellas sheriff will announce criminal investigation of lead child welfare agency

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce a criminal investigation Thursday into Eckerd Connects Community Alternatives.

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Tampa Bay Times: Eckerd Connects loses child welfare contract in Pinellas, Pasco

DCF terminates Eckerd Connect contract because of too many child deaths and for placing children in dangerous, risky and abusive placements.

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HANDY & Justice For Kids®are Partnering to Present “Finding Family & Friends As An Out Of Home Placement” Virtual Webinar On Wednesday, November 17

November 1st, 2021   No Comments   Foster Care, Uncategorized

Webinar Series will Educate Youth in the Foster Care System about their Rights

WHAT:  HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) and Justice for Kids®, a Division of Kelley Kronenberg, proudly present “Finding Family & Friends as an Out of Home Placement,” a virtual webinar to educate youth in the foster care system about their rights. Multiple episodes will be held throughout 2021 and 2022.

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Florida DCF confirmed flaws with the handling of child abuse complaints concerning foster parents following USA TODAY story

Several tragic cases of Justice for Kids Partner Stacie Schmerling were recently featured in USA Today concerning the failures of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to investigate and respond to credible complaints against foster care providers to ensure children are safe.

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Florida’s Children First Hosts CHILL For the Kids Virtual Wine Tasting and Celebrity Chef Demo in Jacksonville to Benefit Foster Kids

Sip, Swirl and Support Florida’s Premiere Youth Advocacy Organization on the Ultimate  Zoom Escape to Napa Valley

Florida’s Children First (FCF), an award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of at-risk children and youth in the foster care system, is hosting the CHILL for the Kids Virtual Wine Tasting and Celebrity Chef Demo fundraiser on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Patrons will enjoy a safe, socially-distanced and fun way to “escape” from their local surroundings for a bit, while allowing FCF the opportunity to raise funds and educate supporters on their mission of helping kids in and aging out of foster care.

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