Tiffany McGlinchey

Author Archives: Tiffany McGlinchey

Another Good Week for Children at the Capitol

If Dr. Seuss had written about Florida’s last committee week of 2017 in his classic grinchy tale, it probably would’ve sounded much like this: Bills for relative caregivers, Early Steps and parents in jail, trafficking, pay raises, civil citations and GAL, all passed their committees, and then legislators with haste, completed their work before session, with no time to waste. In other words, the final committee week was a relatively speedy and good week for policies benefiting Florida’s children. Bills to Help Abused and Neglected Children Pass Unanimously Policy makers heard multiple bills and presentations to improve outcomes for children...

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Milestones Reached Despite Tension

Tallahassee, similar to the rest of the country, is mired in a fog of sexual harassment allegations involving high-ranking members of both political parties. Combining this fallout with allegations of surveillance on Florida policy makers plus the start of political ads for the 2019 election cycle ratchets up the already tense environment at the capitol. Regardless, the work of the state continues. Following last week’s meetings, one committee week remains before the start of the 2018 Legislative Session in January. Milestones were reached as the Governor released his budget recommendations, bills passed second committee stops and presentations were heard on...

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Small Gains for Big Issues Affecting Children

Florida’s Children Feel Impact of Opioid Crisis The opioid crisis is having significant impact on healthy births and the state’s child welfare system. In a presentation to the House Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee, JoShanda Guerrier, Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare at the Department of Children and Families, shared that Florida has seen a 39% increase in the removal of children under five due to substance abuse by the parents in the past five years. Almost 70% of the babies removed within 30 days of birth were due to substance abuse. The children that enter the system due to parental...

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A False Grade for Civil Citations

The most recent revision to Florida’s civil citation law increased the number of times a child could receive a civil citation rather than an arrest for a misdemeanor offense from one infraction to three. Since then, the debate has focused on whether making juvenile civil citations mandatory for eligible offenses would help or hurt juvenile justice. The challenges with removing officer discretion unilaterally are many. Law enforcement is presented with a wide range of scenarios for offenses falling under the same category. The Children’s Campaign has consistently agreed with many other organizations about the following: The civil citation program statewide...

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Top Questions We’re Asking because of Fight Club Coverage

In the wake of Miami Herald’s disturbing Fight Club expose, which sent shock waves throughout Florida, The Children’s Campaign has analyzed the news series and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) responses in depth (see links at end of this story). The cases brought to light are egregious, but other harmful interactions occur between residential care staff (guards) and children. For example, taunting, which occurs until the victim acts out and gets punished, sometimes severely, for battery on a law enforcement officer. The guard’s instigation goes unnoticed and, therefore, unreported. Expectations for solving these long-standing abuses range from “get it...

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Top Questions We’re Asking because of Fight Club Coverage

In the wake of Miami Herald’s disturbing Fight Club expose, which sent shock waves throughout Florida, The Children’s Campaign has analyzed the news series and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) responses in depth (see links at end of this story). The cases brought to light are egregious, but other harmful interactions occur between residential care staff (guards) and children. For example, taunting, which occurs until the victim acts out and gets punished, sometimes severely, for battery on a law enforcement officer. The guard’s instigation goes unnoticed and, therefore, unreported. Expectations for solving these long-standing abuses range from “get it...

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Top Questions We’re Asking because of Fight Club Coverage

In the wake of Miami Herald’s disturbing Fight Club expose, which sent shock waves throughout Florida, The Children’s Campaign has analyzed the news series and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) responses in depth (see links at end of this story). The cases brought to light are egregious, but other harmful interactions occur between residential care staff (guards) and children. For example, taunting, which occurs until the victim acts out and gets punished, sometimes severely, for battery on a law enforcement officer. The guard’s instigation goes unnoticed and, therefore, unreported. Expectations for solving these long-standing abuses range from “get it...

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Media Coverage, Policy and Kids Issues Intersect

Many issues that impact children and families were featured presentations at legislative committee hearings in Tallahassee last week – banning child marriage, abuse in juvenile justice facilities, child welfare workforce turnover, dental care for children in low-income families and KidCare disenrollments. All have at least two things in common: (1) the positive impact that good policy could make on the lives of Florida children and their families, and (2) media coverage by dedicated journalists, often inspired by victims, advocates and their work that brought them to public attention. “Fight Club” Investigation Response Brings Focus to DJJ Success In response to...

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A Hurricane of Issues Already Brewing

Florida legislators convened for the first time before the early start of the 2018 session in January. This committee week was originally scheduled for September 12, but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. The delay resulted in an action-packed week filled with discussions about fallout from the massive storm including its impact on budget and tragic nursing home deaths, the opioid crisis, school privatization, the abuse of children in the juvenile justice system and children’s health insurance. Human Trafficking Continues to be a Topic for Policy Makers SB 96 by Senator Stuebe (R-Sarasota) unanimously passed the Children, Families & Elder...

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Florida Citizens Take Charge of Civil Citations

Rather than arresting children for common youthful misbehaviors, more law enforcement are issuing civil citations, according to Florida Department of Juvenile Justice data. Reasons for the continued uptick include numerous media headlines encouraging implementation, fairness, cost savings, and because it’s good public safety policy with its beneficial outcomes and lower recidivism.  Yet another reason is collective impact, led by concerned citizens, advocates, the communities of faith and parents worried about the long-term consequences of a blight on a child’s record. Civil citations are alternatives to arrests for youth age 8-17 and are issued at the discretion of law enforcement officers....

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