I was a house parent in a residential-care home for foster children in Key West for almost five years. In 2011, I wrote a letter to David Wilkins, who had just been appointed secretary of the Department of Children & Families.
I had two concerns: The licensed group home had seven teenage boys and girls in three bedrooms. I was especially worried the boys slipped into the girls’ bedroom early one morning for a beer party. (Maybe this is why the community-based-care office sent our girls home one day with bags of colored condoms.)
As for my second concern, I wrote: “A final request is that all people and transporting vehicles of precious abused and abandoned children not reek with smoked tobacco odor.”
Neither Wilkins nor his staff responded. But Gov. Rick Scott has publicly embraced Wilkins after the deaths of four small kids in DCF’s system in six weeks under his DCF watch. At least Scott didn’t get religious with, “Can I hear an amen?”
Mike Sawyer, Denver, Colo.