Child Protection

Part Two: Does Florida’s Child Welfare Need a Roadmap?

As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Although there’s no shortage of plans and ideas for improving Florida’s child welfare system, the trouble is there’s too many of them. Sometimes, the ideas even compete with each other or lack adequate evidence-based validation. In addition, there’s little consensus on a proactive way forward. The result? Florida’s child welfare system fails far too many kids, far too often. Over the years, and often in reaction to high profile crises, Florida’s child protection reforms have swung between two general approaches – family preservation, even if it means...

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The Elephant in Florida’s Child Welfare

In a well-known fable, six blind people develop drastically different “views” of an elephant, comparing it to a wall, snake, spear, tree, fan or rope, depending on which body part they touched.  Similarly, there are differing views on how to ensure the safety and well-being of Florida’s children and further transform the state’s child welfare system. Whether Florida’s child welfare reform is making headway, still struggling or needs a complete overhaul depends on with whom you speak and what data you view.  It also helps to understand the past. Once Considered a National Embarrassment Just twenty years ago, Florida’s foster...

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Why Aren’t More Abusive and Neglectful Parents Removed From the Home?

“There are times when folks co-sleep with a child and they are on substances. To me, that’s neglectful. To me, that should be a crime. That’s no different to me than driving under the influence.” The Children’s Campaign applauds this recent statement by Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll to Florida Public Radio.  Those of us old enough to remember can recall when driving under the influence was tolerated and even joked about in night clubs and comedy shows.  A movement – Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) – changed the course.  Stricter laws were passed and with tougher...

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Analysis: Child Death Review Improvements Could Save Lives

The death of a neglected or abused child is the ultimate sign that something has gone tragically wrong – not just within a family, but often within the child protection system itself. Realizing that many child maltreatment fatalities can be prevented, the state passed sweeping child welfare reforms over the past couple of years. The goal was to improve the quality of the child protection workforce, and to increase the transparency and expert review of the child protection system. Ideally, all would learn from errors made.  Ideally, there would be increased accountability. Ideally, changes would be made rapidly to save...

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Increase Normalcy for Foster Youth – Call NOW!

Young people in the foster care system often face barriers to participating in everyday life experiences common to others their age. These life experiences are important because they are a part of how all children are prepared for the responsibilities they will assume as adults. HB977 is a good bill that requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to establish a 3 year pilot program to pay the costs of driver education, driver licensing and costs of driver education, and motor vehicle insurance for children in foster care who have completed a driver education course. This bill encourages “normalcy”,...

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Spread the Word About Florida’s Child Protective Services System

Florida’s child protective services system is the definition of instability. Options are being offered to “fix” the Department of Children and Families (DCF), but no matter how firm the plans or suggestions, they still are not strong enough to stand up when placed on the wobbly CPI foundation provided by DCF. The Children’s Campaign recently dropped off our first Jenga piece to legislators’ Tallahassee offices. We need you to help SPREAD THE WORD! 1. Take a copy of theJenga article to your local legislator’s office. Tell them that you support moving child protective investigations to the local community. 2. Call...

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Learn and Share – Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center Sex Trafficking Brief

Learn:   The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center  released a position paper regarding girls involved in sex trafficking. Both The Children’s Campaign and The Policy Center are advocating to maintain the original intent of sex trafficking legislation passed two years ago, known as the Safe Harbor Act. Read the entire position paper here. Share: Use the following messages to raise awareness about the position paper on social media  Twitter Protect the original intent of the #SafeHarborAct – RT & Show your support for Florida’s #sextrafficking victims – http://bit.ly/1gTmz4B Facing Risk, Runaways & Relapse – The Best Practices for #sextrafficking victims...

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See the Girl: Events and Position Paper

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center (The Policy Center) is a nonprofit organization based in Jacksonville that engages communities, organizations and individuals through quality research, community organizing, advocacy, training and model programming to advance the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the justice and child protection systems. Its president and CEO, Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, is one of the country’s foremost experts in gender-responsive trauma informed care. Her lengthy accomplishments include rescuing sex trafficked children off the strip in Ft. Lauderdale, serving as a key staffer in a national organization serving runaway and homeless youth, and growing the...

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The Heart of the Problem

November 12, 2013 In response to the children involved with Florida’s child welfare system who have died this year, The Children’s Campaign’s president, Roy Miller, wrote the following letter. It details thoughts, questions, concerns, and suggestions with a view toward a permanent solution. The letter has been delivered to Senator Eleanor Sobel, Chair of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, Representative Gayle Harrell, Chair of the House Healthy Families Subcommittee, and staff at both committees. Read the full text of the letter and how you can help below.  We welcome your comments at info@iamforkids.org November 7, 2013 The...

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