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The estimated total number of adoptions has ranged from a low of 50,000 in 1944 to a high of 175,000 in 1970.

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Florida CPS News Archive

Florida News Coverage

School report cards for children in foster care usually show they are behind their peers in almost every academic measure. A U.S. Senate committee takes a closer look at the problem.

Daniel Heimple, project director at Fostering Media Connections, provides background on why foster children struggle in school. "There's the trauma they may have endured, as well as move from home to home and bounce from school district to school district and can't form a stable school environment. That hurts their education."

publicnewsservice.org

October 18, 2011

Governor Nikki Haley said she based her plan to require South Carolinians receiving unemployment benefits to come clean on drug tests before receiving aid on two pieces of information.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the testing-for-welfare scheme, implemented in July, appears to be a mess. In the early going, it has turned up a less than a 2 percent "hit rate." That is, less than 2 percent of those tested failed the test and were denied welfare benefits. The test is costing the state something like $30,000 a month - drug tests, even with the state discount, aren't free.

scnow.com

October 15, 2011

by Kelli Kennedy

State figures show that hundreds of welfare applicants in Florida have declined to take drug tests that have been required for the assistance since mid-July.

Thirty-two applicants failed the test, 7,028 passed and 1,597 didn't take it, according figures released Tuesday the Department of Children and Families. People who decline to take the test aren't required to explain...

CNS News

October 11, 2011

by Albert Momjian

Interesting Court Cases dealing with custody, child support, etc... Three recent cases, one in Tennessee and two in Florida, are illustrative. So, for no other reason than they are interesting, let me tell you about these three cases.

The interesting part of this case is the dilemma in which trial courts sometimes place parents by asking the parent who wants to relocate what he or she will do if permission to relocate the child is denied. What is that parent supposed to say? There is no good answer to this question. If the answer is that the relocation will be abandoned, then how likely is it that permission to relocate will be granted? If the answer is that the relocation will take place nevertheless, then how likely is it that permission to relocate will be granted?

mondaq.com

September 23, 2011

by Cary Williams

A Pinellas County judge ordered a 5-year-old into foster care on Monday after deputies said his mother tried to sell him for $2,000. A Tampa couple said they wanted to continue to care for the boy but an incident in 2005 prevented that from happening.

Jessica Beers is accused of trying to sell the adoptive rights to her son to James and Betty Gardner. At a dependency hearing on Monday, case workers Told Judge Patrice Moore that Beers and her biological father have severe prescription drug dependencies. Detectives say James Gardner went to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Saturday to report that Beers was attempting to sell him her child.

abcactionnews.com

August 22, 2011

by Todd Wright

A Miami dad is in jail after he allegedly delivered a head butt to a Department of Children and Families case worker who came to retrieve his son.

Carlens Constant Jr., 30, was charged with battery on a DCF agent and criminal mischief for the altercation Thursday, Miami-Dade Police said. According to an arrest report, Constant was not allowed to have custody of his son so DCF case worker Victor Onweazuekwa came to retrieve the unidentified boy.

nbcmiami.com

August 19, 2011

by Janet Zink

The state-run property insurer is proposing to increase sinkhole insurance premiums by more than 2,000 percent in some parts of the Tampa Bay area, and an average of more than 400 percent across the state.

The rate hike - which could cost some customers an additional $4,000 per year - is necessary because current premiums don't cover payouts for sinkhole claims, according to Citizens Property Insurance actuaries.

tampabay.com

July 28, 2011

by Drew Harwell

One year after a palatial new Hyatt Regency resort debuted as an emblem of Clearwater Beach's rebirth, its developers are facing foreclosure on their $141 million mortgage.

A centerpiece of the city's $30 million BeachWalk promenade, the 17-story Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa has become a hit among vacationers aiming for one of the resort's 250 condo-hotel suites on the Gulf of Mexico waterfront.

tampabay.com

July 28, 2011

NEW PORT RICHEY - A Dunkin' Donuts employee is accused of giving customers free food and coffee and stealing leftover doughnuts, sandwiches and cheese at night, some of which he gave to cab drivers in exchange for rides home.

Raphael A. Morales, 31, was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Morales stole and gave away more than $300 in goods within a three-day period in July. "Raphael stated he was unaware that the goods he took and gave away totaled over $300 in just three days," the report states.

tampabay.com

July 28, 2011

by Jeff Cooper

Many children with ADHD struggle in a traditional school setting and have their own unique learning style. One alternative is homeschooling your ADHD child.

On July 20, host Jeff Copper interviews Carol Barnier who has been homeschooling her two ADHD children (plus a typical one) for 18 years. Jeff and Carol talk about homeschooling resources and the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling an ADHD child, along with the challenges of homeschooling when the teacher (parent) has ADHD. The program will be aired on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at 8 pm EDT.

DIG Coaching Practice LLC

July 17, 2011

by Susan Taylor Martin

A Pinellas lawyer who leads homeowners associations to legal action raises some hackles. Pinellas County lawyer Robert L. Tankel advocates showing no mercy toward property owners who fall behind on their homeowners association fees.

As many as a third of Florida's 19 million people live in so-called "mandatory membership'' communities in which homeowners must pay assessments, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a year, for the upkeep and insurance of common areas. Tankel's aggressive tactics were on display in 2001 when he agreed to represent directors of a Tarpon Springs homeowners association who had been removed from the board by the project's developer. Tankel wrote to the new directors, falsely claiming that by serving on a developer-controlled board they would be employees of the developer and subject to personal liability if anything went wrong. The letter so unnerved the new directors that they all resigned.

tampabay.com

July 3, 2011

by Alia Beard Rau

The Arizona Legislature this year got a lot of national media attention for some of its legislation, but it wasn't the only state lawmaking body to propose some unusual measures.

Arizona was the second in the nation to create an official state gun. Arizona's is the Colt Single Action Army Revolver. The Florida Legislature considered, but ultimately failed to pass, a measure to make it legal to ride a bicycle without holding on to the handlebars.

azcentral.com

May 29, 2011

by Bill Cotterell

Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins told employees Monday the welfare agency will eliminate about 500 jobs in a $48 million cost-saving initiative for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The Department of Management Services Annual Workforce Report says DCF had 12,797 employees as of last June 30. About one-fifth of the state workforce is based in Tallahassee. DCF's personnel office has created an Internet site for employees to look for other jobs and the department will work with the Agency for Workforce Innovation's regional boards and Department of Education to help with placement.

jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com

May 23, 2011

by Colleen Conklin

Public schools in Florida have endured five brutal years of budget cuts. Year after year legislators have abdicated their duty to comply with the state Constitution. They have violated local control on every level.

Florida politicians have passed unfunded mandate after unfunded mandate-costly laws and regulations passed down to local governments without a dime to pay for them. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature boast non-stop about how they have applied a business model to public education. By almost any standard, they should earn an F for failing the people of Florida. It's fiscally irresponsible and fundamentally dishonest for them to pass bills without funding. It's the equivalent of writing a bad check.

jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com

May 17, 2011

by Lauren Ritchie

The torture started before the Leesburg boy reached his second birthday. His mother severely beat him for crawling into another child's crib.

State child-protection workers would investigate complaints of filthy conditions, bruises and welts from excessive corporal punishment and lack of supervision on four occasions between January 2000 and November 2003, when they finally took him and his sister away and put them in foster homes. The healing should have started there, but the state Department of Children & Families sometimes dispenses its own barbaric brand of neglect. And this unfortunate child came in for a heaping measure.

orlandosentinel.com

May 15, 2011

Fresh Box Organics, a Melbourne, Florida, organic food delivery service is teaming up with Living Social to help solve the hunger problem in the Space Coast region. All gross proceeds will go to a local soup kitchen that feeds over 4,000 people.

Fresh Box Organics, a Melbourne, Florida, organic food delivery service is teaming up with Living Social to help solve the hunger problem in the Space Coast region. All gross proceeds will go to a local soup kitchen that feeds over 4,000 people.

benzinga.com

April 18, 2011

MIAMI -- A 10-year-old Florida girl and her twin brother sometimes spent days on end locked in a bathroom, their hands and feet bound, enduring their parents' abuse before the girl's father punched and beat her to death as she cried and screamed.

Authorities charged the girl's parents with her death, the culmination of what they called months of abuse and torture. Police said Jorge Barahona ended that on Feb. 11 when he grabbed Nubia from the bathroom and beat her to death. His wife, Carmen, is accused of encouraging her husband's abuse and abusing the children herself, according to the arrest warrant.

cbs12.com

April 15, 2011

by Richard Wexler

There is a familiar ritual unfolding in Florida. The horrifying death of Nubia Barahona, allegedly at the hands of her foster/adoptive father, and the near death of her brother Victor are "raising questions" about the FDCF.

Though The Ledger says the case is "a reminder that two decades of child welfare reforms in Florida" have not been enough, in fact Florida hasn't had two decades of reforms. It's had only four years of reform -- preceded by seven years of careening full speed backward under the disastrous policies of former DCF Secretary Kathleen Kearney and her immediate successors.

theledger.com

April 12, 2011

Manatee County, FL -- Early this morning, a neighbor noticed a small child in the road near her front yard and called the sheriff's office.

About an hour after finding the child, 25-year-old Justin Dufon of 5532 41st St. E. was located and arrested. A Child Advocacy Center (CAC) detective and Child Protective Services are still investigating.

wtsp.com

March 27, 2011

by John Barry

TAMPA - Since he was born, Gabrielle Crawford fought his way through multiple birth defects. He was never expected to live past 2. He died last December. He was 8 months old.

On Thursday, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office called Gabrielle a homicide victim. The state Department of Children and Families called his death another example of the failure of Hillsborough child protectors to avert a tragedy unfolding before their eyes.

tampabay.com

March 11, 2011

by RiShawn Biddle

Only in 2009, after a decade of complaints often ignored by Ciavarella and Conahan's fellow judges and Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, did federal investigators bring down the entire "Cash for Kids" scheme.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice shocked the nation when it revealed that one out of every three kids held in 13 juvenile jails and prisons were sexually abused by guards, other employees, or fellow inmates. This included 37 percent of kids imprisoned at the curiously named Backbone Mountain Youth Center, and Indiana's Pendleton juvenile prison, which has become nationally known thanks to the popular MSNBC reality show Lockup. Nationally, 12 percent of all juvenile prisoners reported molestation and other forms of sexual abuse.

The American Spectator

March 11, 2011

EDGEWATER, Fla. -- Parents at an elementary school in Volusia County say a student is disrupting their children's education because of her peanut allergy.

"We're not talking about she will break out in a rash. We are talking about she will die, stop breathing," said Tracey Bailey, the mother of the 6-year-old girl. The condition affects only 2 percent of the population.

clickorlando.com

March 10, 2011

by The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths

Florida residents have certainly been hit with their share of news about child tragedies in the last several weeks.

From news of the first days of the Casey Anthony trial, to the gruesome story of the murder of Nubia Barahona and the serious injuries inflicted on her twin brother and now, two children have been found packed in luggage in a Canal-the list goes on and the need for action is more apparent than ever. Often, the media and other commentators on the issue start by deciding where they should point the finger.

Was law enforcement to blame? Or was it the state child welfare agency's fault? Who should take the blame for the avoidable deaths of so many children? The unfortunate truth about child abuse and neglect deaths is how common they are - and it is safe to say that Florida is not alone. In fact, researchers believe there are nearly seven such child abuse and neglect deaths every day in America -- some 2,500 a year, many more than the number of American fatalities in two wars in the same period.

chipleypaper.com

March 5, 2011

by Pat Beall

Outraged critics are calling it the Barahona Relief Act: Twin bills winding through Tallahassee that would cap damages in lawsuits brought against private groups overseeing the care of foster children, regardless of negligence.

The proposals also would shield the Florida Department of Children and Families from lawsuits filed against private companies hired by the state to place foster children in homes. Our Kids received government grants worth $100 million in 2009. The non-profit has not been turned down for insurance, she said, but premiums have risen by 64 percent to $191,663 since 2009.

palmbeachpost.com

March 3, 2011

by Michael Mayo

A 10-year-old girl is dead, and her twin brother is fighting for life with gruesome chemical burns. Their adoptive father is being held on multiple charges, including aggravated child abuse and attempted murder.

The unfolding tragedy is the latest sad proof that Florida's child welfare agency can't always be counted on to protect the most vulnerable among us: foster and adopted children. Even after warning bells have gone off. Could the stomach-turning case of twins Nubia and Victor Barahona have been prevented by swifter and louder actions?

sun-sentinel.com

February 19, 2011

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