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As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children.

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Florida CPS News Archive

Florida News Coverage

by Ernest Hooper

Once a foster child, Carissa Alvanarz is now a youth counselor at A Kid's Place, an emergency shelter for abused children in Brandon.

Carissa and her twin brother, Cody, ended up in foster care after a difficult beginning. Two separate families eventually adopted them. Carissa raves about both adoptive families, but Joshua House also holds a special place in her heart. So it is with A Kid's Place. From the first time she drove by and discovered its purpose, Alvanarz longed to work there.

St. Petersburg Times

June 18, 2009

by Brandon Larrabee

Almost 2,700 foster children are on psychiatric medicines, including hundreds in N.E. Florida, even though the Department of Children and Families has no authority to give drugs to more than 16% of those children.

The report follows an ongoing review by DCF after the assumed suicide this year of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers in Fort Lauderdale. Gabriel was taking psychiatric, or psychotropic, medications. But DCF later found that those caring for the boy hadn't obtained the parental consent or court order required by state law.

The Florida Times-Union

May 29, 2009

by Parsons, Wayne

The Miami Herald reports, "Nearly three of 10 teenage Florida foster children have been prescribed a mental-health drug, and 73 foster kids younger than 6 are taking mind-altering drugs

In total, "13% of Florida foster children -- are being given powerful psychiatric drugs, said the study, commissioned last month by Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon. The largest group, almost 60%, are teens ages 13 to 17."

Honolulu Injury Board

May 29, 2009

by Jon Burstein

DCF Secretary George Sheldon acknowledged there was "no rational basis" for 433 foster children in Florida being administered the psychotropic drugs without the required permission.

The study is more fallout from last month's suicide of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers. The boy hanged himself April 16 with a shower hose in the bathroom of his Margate foster home. At the time of his death, he had been prescribed two psychotropic drugs--Symbyax and Vyvanse--that had not been approved by either his parents or a judge.

South Florida Sun Sentinel

May 28, 2009

by Sherri Ackerman

Foster-care caseworkers were so focused on helping 17-year-old Jasmine Bedwell succeed, they overlooked her romance with an abusive man and underestimated the danger he posed to her infant son.

Early on, they even encouraged her boyfriend, a violent criminal with a history of domestic violence, to help care for her baby. Workers neglected to run a background check on Richard McTear Jr., 21, of Tampa, when he got involved with Bedwell.

Tampa Bay Online

May 28, 2009

by Austin L. Miller

The DCF spokeswoman, Elizabeth Arenas, said the baby, who is healthy, was released from Munroe Regional Medical Center on Saturday and placed in foster care the same day.

In the meantime, the agency is trying to find possible relatives with whom to place the infant. Last Wednesday, Carr, 24, gave birth to the baby at Munroe Regional after she was taken from the jail at 10:30 p.m. A hospital official said the child was delivered at 11:14 p.m.

Ocala Star Banner

May 14, 2009

by Austin L. Miller

A week-old baby girl whose mother, Emilia Carr, is being held at the Marion County Jail on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges has been discharged from the hospital and placed in foster care.

The DCF spokeswoman, Elizabeth Arenas, said the baby, who is healthy, was released from Munroe Regional Medical Center on Saturday and was placed in foster care the same day. The agency is trying to find possible relatives with whom to place the infant.

Ocala News

May 13, 2009

by Eric Pera

Upton and Bailey were strangers until their 18th birthdays, when they were paired under Florida's Independent Living Program, which extends foster care to teenagers who request help with making the transition into adulthood.

The Ledger went to court to obtain Upton's foster care records, which support Bailey's observations and document a sordid childhood. They show she was sexually abused by siblings under the neglectful eyes of a single mother. Shuttled between foster homes and group homes for much of her life, Upton's past may well have shaded her character.

The Lakeland Ledger

March 20, 2009

by Jeremy Maready

LAKELAND - When Zachary and Austin Johnsons parents were arrested last year, the toddlers great-aunt and great-uncle welcomed the two boys with open arms.

Tom and Linda Page were made temporary caregivers for the children the day Linda's nephew, Eugene Johnson and his wife, Clarissa, were arrested July 26. Though she called several times in the following days, DCF officials decided to place the toddlers with their aunt and uncle, Mysti and Matthew Wyrosdick of Lakeland.

The Lakeland Ledger

March 18, 2009

by Baird Helgeson

The Florida Wildlife Commission is tweaking its requirements for those who own exotic species, and Susan Williams is among a group pushing for neighborhood notification when people have exotic and dangerous species.

Many of the most dangerous animals in Florida aren't in zoos or sanctuaries. They are in people's houses, at fledgling private animal attractions, or in once-rural settings now surrounded by subdivisions. More than 400 Florida businesses and individuals have Class I or Class II permits, which allow for the most wild and lethal species.

Tampa Bay Online

March 13, 2009

by Molly Moorhead

Georgia's mother is set to be released from prison in September, and the state says she's entitled to a second chance. If she can follow a court-ordered plan to rebuild her life, she could get her daughter back.

For caregivers like the Martins, the idea of a reunited family is not a noble goal but a risky mistake. They provide a home for a child who has never known one, they become attached, and they live with the possibility of losing that child to the same parent whose damage they have tried to repair.

The St. Petersburg Times

March 6, 2009

by Todd Ruger, Cathy Zollo

The suffocation death of a 3-year-old boy this week will most likely be ruled accidental, authorities said.

When the Devines checked on Donovan they found him wedged between the bunk bed and the wall, hanging by his chin, and not breathing. The parents had been constantly checking on him until the friends visited, Jennifer Devine said, but in the time they were outside he slipped off the bed.

Sarasota Herald Tribune

January 31, 2009

I'm Karl father to Emily Rose who is my youngest daughter. Emily was born in the UK and taken by her American mother, Sheila Kay Fuith, to the US when Emily was 11 months old.

This blog is where I'm placing the media reports and evidence of the role of the US Department of State in abducting Emily to the US while obstructing justice for Emily and attempting to cover up misconduct of officials while Emily is denied medical treatment for her eye condition which will leave her blind.

Emily Rose Hindle

January 28, 2009

by Kathleen Chapman

Eighteen Palm Beach County children died of abuse or neglect in 2007, the highest number of any county in Florida and the most since the state began publishing its annual child death reports in 1998.

Three-year-old Jamiya DeLoach died in state custody when a caregiver left her with a 14-year-old baby sitter. In 10 of the 18 deaths, the Department of Children and Families had received at least one report that the children might be at risk of harm.

Chicago Tribune

January 7, 2009

by Carol Marbin Miller

A Miami-Dade circuit judge Tuesday declared Florida's 30-year-old ban on gay adoption unconstitutional, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two foster kids he has raised since 2004.

In a 53-page order that sets the stage for what could become a constitutional showdown, Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman permitted 47-year-old Frank Gill to adopt the 4- and 8-year-old boys he and his partner have raised since just before Christmas four years ago. A child abuse investigator had asked Gill to care for the boys temporarily; they were never able to return to their birth parents.

The Miami Herald

November 26, 2008

by Geoff Oldfather

Julian Louis can't take anything for granted. For most of her young life, she has been a foster child, relying on the foster care system to navigate her way to adulthood.

Her mother was a drug addict. Louis knew she wanted a better life, but she didn't have the family support most of us take for granted. Children's Home Society provided financial aid and tuition so Louis can go to the Indian River State College's School of Cosmetology in Stuart.

TC Palm

October 21, 2008

by Linnea Brown

BROOKSVILLE - Local parents who homeschool their children are in no hurry to send their children back to Hernando County public schools. That much became clear after Thursday's meeting at the school district, hosted by Superintendent Wayne Alexander.

One by one, nearly a dozen of the parents stood behind a podium and told a panel of district experts why they initially pulled their children out of local public schools. According to finance director Deborah Bruggink, each child pulls in approximately $3,998 in state funding. If all homeschooled students enrolled in district schools, that could add as much as $3.34 million to the district's budget.

Tampa Bay

August 15, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- It's the beginning of a new week, but Caylee remains missing.

A $125,000 reward offered by the Never Lose Hope Foundation, Skyview Aviation and Skyview Exotic Rental was set on Monday night for the child's safe return. Similar billboards have been used in the hopes of finding Trenton Duckett and Jennifer Kesse.

Orlando News

July 22, 2008

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

American taxpayers fund a racket that wrenches the stomach. That is CPS. Some of those involved claim their are just following orders, others just pocket the bounty on children wrenched from their parent's arms.

We are going to take you behind the lies into the ugly truth that is destroying families for profit every day, in every community across America. You won't want to believe it but when you see their faces, hear their voices, you will understand why this is happening and what it means to your own life, even if you don't have children.

Nolan Chart

June 28, 2008

by Charlene Israel

Disaster, disease and neglect have put more than 143 million children in a desperate situation. The Burma cyclone and the China earthquake have left thousands of children orphaned in just a matter of days.

According to recent statistics, every fourteen seconds an AIDS related death takes a parent away from their children. Some 800,000 children pass through America's foster care system each year.

CBN News

June 13, 2008

by Beau Minnick

A 13-year-old homeschooled boy was tied to a tree two nights this week died Thursday, and his father and stepmother have been charged with murder.

Brice Brian McMillan, 41, and Sandra Elizabeth McMillan, 36, both of Macclesfield, have been charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse. They were being held Friday in the Edgecombe County Detention Center. A 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who live in the McMillan home have been placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

WRAL News (NC)

June 13, 2008

by Howard Altman

TAMPA - A child welfare caseworker was arrested this morning and charged with 33 counts of falsifying records, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Andrew Joseph, 36, of Riverview, said he conducted face-to-face interviews for Youth and Family Alternatives, a subcontractor providing case management services, according Hillsborough Kids Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Rainey.

Tampa Bay

June 2, 2008

Alex Barton is five years old. On Wednesday, his kindergarten teacher decided to teach her class a bit about bigotry and exclusion.

Unfortunately, she seems to have been for rather than against these principles. Wendy Portillo invited the members of Alex's class to state the reasons they did not like him. Then a vote was taken. By a vote of 14 to 2, Barton was removed from the class.

Asperger Square 8

May 29, 2008

by Harry Smith

A Florida mom is outraged and considering legal action after her special needs son was voted out of his kindergarten class.

Melissa Barton says Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo had her son's classmates say what they didn't like about 5-year-old Alex. She says the teacher then had the students vote, and voted Alex, who is being evaluated for Asperger's syndrome -- an autism spectrum disorder -- out of the class by a 14-2 margin.

CBS News (FL)

May 29, 2008

by Robert Paul Reyes

Parents in Mobile County better make sure their kids are going to class. Authorities are cracking down on truancy cases and parents are getting busted too.

Dozens of parents showed up for their court appearance but some moms and dads didn't bother coming to court. A warrant has been issued in those cases. One of those parents arrested is Samantha Green. She has 8 children and one grandchild.

The Student Operated Press

May 15, 2008

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