DCF

The Sunshine Edition
7:29 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Mike Carroll Is Named Interim Head Of The Department Of Children and Families

On Monday, Governor Rick Scott announced Mike Carroll as his nominee to be the next interim Secretary of the Department of Children and Families. The state senate must approve his nomination.
Credit Department of Children and Families

Florida’s child protective agency’s new designated leader comes from within the troubled agency. Mike Carroll currently runs the Department of Children and Families operations in Tampa and Southwest Florida. What does his nomination mean about the direction of the agency? We speak with Carroll and the Miami Herald's Carol Marbin Miller.  

Florida parents, school kids and teachers await to see what next school year’s assessment test focused on Common Core State Standards will be. While they wait, they’re watching New York state parents opting out of Common Core testing.

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DCF
10:34 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Innocents Lost: The 477 Children Who Died On The State Of Florida's Watch

A woman grieves the loss of her 3-year-old grandson, whose mother struggled with drug addiction.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

This story originally ran on March 17, 2014. This week, we'll dedicate an hour on-air during the Florida Roundup to the Innocents Lost investigation. Tune in Friday, March 28 at noon.

Last week, the Miami Herald launched a series on a history of failures at DCF -- Florida's Department of Children and Families. But these are failures with a body count: Over six years, nearly 500 children died after DCF had been warned, sometimes repeatedly, that they or their siblings could be in danger. There were many missed opportunities for the state to protect the children. 

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DCF
6:32 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Miami Herald Series Prompts Changes To Florida Child-Welfare Legislation

Changes to the Florida Department of Children and Families are on the way. Lawmakers are considering legislation after a Miami Herald investigation chronicled the deaths of hundreds of children under the state's watch.
Credit Seandel Edwards/flickr

The Miami Herald series “Innocents Lost” may lead to more changes at DCF – Florida’s Department of Children and Families.

The Herald investigation chronicles the deaths of hundreds of children under DCF’s watch.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, is one of the state leaders charged with overseeing DCF as chair of the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.

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Department Of Children And Families
8:39 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Florida's DCF Launches New Child-Safety Program

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

Days after a Miami Herald investigation documented 477 child-abuse deaths on the agency's watch, Florida's Department of Children and Families is launching a new child-safety program. It's advice for busy parents who may not be too careful about who takes care of their children. Click to hear Rick Stone's radio story. 

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Dept. Of Children And Families
4:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DCF's Problems Partly About Lack Of Better-Educated Workers, Legislators Say

Hollywood Democrat Eleanor Sobel is chair of the Senate committee on Children and Families: "We are proud of this [bill] that will save lives of many many children in the state of Florida."
Credit Florida House of Representatives

 

A state Senate committee agrees that one of the keys to fixing persistent child welfare problems at Florida's Department of Children and Families is more and better-trained caseworkers. The panel has passed a group of bills with a package of solutions for a very troubled system.

Here's WLRN reporter Rick Stone's radio story.

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Department of Children and Families
6:58 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Scott Wants $40 Million Increase For Child Protection

Credit Tobias Aakerbum / Flicker CC

  In the wake of a wave of children's deaths last year, Gov. Rick Scott is calling on the Florida Legislature to include about $40 million in additional money for child protection in the next state budget, the governor announced Tuesday in Miami.

Scott's budget proposal includes nearly $32 million for the state Department of Children and Families for child protective investigations and $8 million for six Florida sheriff's offices that handle such investigations.

Scott called his proposal a "historic" budget increase for DCF, and Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo agreed.

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DCF
2:51 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

It Won't Take Just Money To Reduce Florida's Abused-Child Deaths, Reps Say

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

In an outdoor press conference on Fort Lauderdale's Sistrunk Boulevard, in front of a large Christmas tree, State Rep. Perry Thurston urged Gov. Rick Scott to provide sufficient funding for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Scott Faces Tough Decision On Next DCF Secretary

Credit FrauSchütze / Flickr CC

Gov. Rick Scott faces a difficult decision in naming a permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given the demands of the job, the lateness in his term and the scrutiny of lawmakers moving to respond to a rash of child deaths.

Scott has some breathing room after announcing last week that Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will stay on the job through the end of the 2014 legislative session. He tapped the Miami-based attorney to lead the agency in mid-July, for 90 days, after David Wilkins resigned under fire.

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Social Welfare
12:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Florida Deaths Raise Questions About Child Welfare System

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:26 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we talk with actor Ziyi Zhang about her latest film "The Grandmaster," and women in kung fu. That's in a moment. But we start our program today in Florida. At least 20 children who were on the radar of child protective services have died there since April, that's according to an investigation by the Miami Herald. And the question of course is, why and how do we stop more deaths from occurring?

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Town Hall On Child Deaths: 'Is Anbody Here Not Outraged?'

Department of Children and Families interim Secretary Esther Jacobo (middle, speaking) has previously said she has a demoralized workforce.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald Staff

With lawmakers from Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties on hand, hundreds of people turned out Tuesday night for a town-hall meeting about an epidemic of deaths in recent months that has rocked the state's child-welfare system.

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Social Welfare
4:23 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

At DCF, An Untold Epidemic Of Abuse, Neglect And Death

Esther Jacobo, the interim secretary of the Department of Children & Families, said she has ordered a review of child fatalities caused by abuse and neglect.
Credit Marsha Halper / Miami Herald file

On the day before she died, Jewel Re’nee Howard sat on the porch, in her grandmother’s lap, having her hair twisted into ponytails made pretty with pink and purple beads. She played outside the home with neighborhood children, ate noodles, talked and giggled, as she had so many days before, about her dream of becoming a princess.

Less than 15 hours later, Jewel was dead — her liver torn and mangled, ribs crushed, her tiny body bruised and bleeding internally.

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Department of Children and Families
7:43 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Timeline Of Deaths Leading Up To DCF Leader's Resignation

Nubia Barahona, 10, of Kendall is found in a black garbage bag in the back of her adoptive father's pickup truck. The state had approved her adoption and then overlooked reports of abuse.
Miami Herald

David Wilkins, Florida's top child welfare and social services administrator resigned July 18 amid an escalating scandal over the recent deaths of four small children who had a history of involvement with child-abuse investigators.

Read more of the original Tampa Bay Times article here

TIMELINE: DCF DEATH CASES

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