Top Stories2021-02-17T01:59:36-05:00

Is a Lack of Transparency Costing Children’s Lives?

Stonewalling by agency heads and private corporations caring for Florida’s most vulnerable children is raising serious questions about transparency in the aftermath of violent sexual abuse of a girl at Miami Girls Academy, regulated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and the brutal death of a Jacksonville child in kinship care, regulated by the Florida Department of Children & Families. Appearing to Hide Behind Confidentiality The questionable application of confidentiality guidelines raises suspicion, as well as magnifies the serious problems caused when expansive private corporations have no real ties to the state or voices of local citizens at their table. In Miami, the Miami Girls Academy, a residential juvenile justice program, ...Read More

By |June 2, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|

Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program has Big Shoes to Fill

In a town like Tallahassee, it’s pretty common for agency heads to come and go. Sometimes the change is welcomed by child advocates and youth serving organizations. The recent resignation of Alan Abramowitz from his position as executive director of the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL), however, is not one of those times. Alan’s 11 years of leadership at GAL has proven to so many that he is one of Florida’s most stalwart advocates for the best interests of children. Without a doubt, it’s one of the primary reasons why he received the 2020 State Director of the Year Award from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem Association. ...Read More

By |April 30, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|

The Big Problem with SB 1920

Let’s apply the chicken-or-egg question to the child welfare “improvement” proposed by SB 1920, which will mandate a new state government department for state-compensated attorneys representing foster children in dependency hearings. Which should come first – identifying the problem or implementing a solution? The answer may seem obvious, but as American Children's Campaign listened to testimony presented in a Senate committee hearing, it’s clear some are moving too quickly to propose a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist, rather than digging further to understand the model that’s being proposed or the many negative unintended consequences. The big problem with SB 1920? First it will require significant tax dollars but NOT directed ...Read More

By |April 13, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|

Report: Florida’s Education and Juvenile Justice Systems Are Failing Black Girls

High rates of disproportionate arrests and lockups in nearly one-fourth of Florida counties    New research by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, Sounding the Alarm: Criminalization of Black Girls in Florida, finds Black girls in Florida are disproportionately punished at nearly every disciplinary point in the education and juvenile justice systems. The findings are relevant to bringing forth the overdue justice and educational reforms needed to support the wellbeing of girls and young women. Although Black girls account for just 21% of the girl population in Florida, they are more than two times overrepresented in: Out-of-school suspensions for girls (49%) Incidents involving girls and law enforcement in schools eligible for civil ...Read More

By |March 24, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|

Florida Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Eliminate Court-Related Fines and Fees on Children

Debt-Free Justice for Children Act continues Florida Legislature’s criminal justice reform work  Elected officials and advocates from the Debt-Free Justice for Children Campaign announced recently the introduction of SB 1926 and HB 1391, also known as the Debt-Free Justice for Children Act, sponsored by Senator Audrey Gibson and Representative Tracie Davis. The legislation would promote education, public safety and hope by:   Eliminating administrative fees and fines on all young people in both the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems up to age 18.  Providing protection from fees and fines in the criminal justice system for cross-over youth eligible for continuing foster care up to age 21.  “Unpaid fines and fees can have ...Read More

By |March 17, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|

Mourning the Passing of Nilda Pedrosa

American Children's Campaign, along with our affiliate Voices for Florida, are saddened by the passing of Nilda Pedrosa. In addition to her many accomplishments achieved while Associate Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Florida Office of Attorney General, and other high level appointments nationally, a lasting legacy will be the long sought transformation of sex trafficked children and young adults from criminals to victims in need of services. “The Open Doors Outreach Network that exists today and continues to grow throughout Florida would not exist without Nilda’s passion and vision,” said Roy Miller, president of American Children's Campaign.  “We worked on policy together, appropriations and the formation of advisory ...Read More

By |January 25, 2021|Breaking News, Top Stories|