04 Apr 2011

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


March 2011: Florida DCF in the News

Lawsuit: Adoption Agency Didn’t Say Kids Were Abused,” reports MiamiHerald.com, on March 30, 2011.

“Filed Tuesday, the lawsuit seeks money to care for the children, plus damages for pain and suffering. It says the agency failed to keep track of JD and WD, as they are named in the lawsuit, or advise the new parents of abuse… “

Lawsuit Alleges Foster Child Abuse,” reports WJXT Jacksonville, on March 29, 2011.

“…The adoptive parents said their two children were physically, sexually and mentally abused while in foster care…”

“‘Acid attack’ Couple Could Face Death Penalty if Convicted of Murdering Adopted Daughter,” reports the UK’s Daily Mail, on March 28, 2011.

“The case has put a spotlight on Florida’s Department of Children and Families, whose social workers failed to act despite repeated warnings and concerns from worried teachers and relatives about the twins’ welfare.”

Ex Child Welfare Investigator Pleads Guilty,” reports the Miami Herald, on March 28, 2011.

“…an investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families was arrested in July on charges of misconduct and falsification of child-protective records that contributes to great bodily harm.”

Florida Agency Defends its Work After Children Found in Canal,” reports CNN, March 15, 2011

“Child welfare officials Tuesday defended their involvement with the family of a woman whose two children were found dead in a south Florida canal, saying Felicia Brown “deserved a chance to have her children back”… The Department of Children and Families workers investigated 10 reports of abuse, neglect or abandonment involving Brown’s children, the last of which was in June 2005.”

“‘Fatal Ineptitude’ Causes State Child Welfare Shakeup” at the Florida DCF, reports the Florida Courier, March 14, 2011.

“In response to the scathing report of an independent panel, the new secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families is firing and reprimanding employees, overhauling the state’s child abuse hotline and hiring 80 new investigators.”

“‘A Thousand Skills’ Required for DCF Investigators,” reports The Palm Beach Post, March 13, 2011.

“…investigators are underpaid and overworked.”

The Independent Review Panel’s final report of findings on Florida DCF’s handling of the Nubia Barahona case, from the Florida DCF website, March 10, 2011.

The response [of Florida DCF]… was replete with errors and poor practices and stands out as a model of fatal ineptitude.”

Officials Investigated Safety of Kids Found Dead in Florida Canal,” reports CNN, March 8, 2011.

“Child protective investigators in Florida had “prior involvement” with the family of the two children found dead in a canal this month, an official said Tuesday…. The actions of the Florida Department of Children and Families also are being looked at in a separate case, in which 10-year-old twins were found last month in a pest control truck on the side of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

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