DCF needs more resources


I was saddened to read about the 20 children with a prior DCF history who have died in Florida since April. However, I was not shocked. This is a continuing problem.

In the mid 1980s, I was the physician director of the Child Protection Team at the University of Miami, which deals with abused and neglected children.

It’s easy to be fooled in this line of work. In my first serious case I evaluated a child with head trauma. Her parents told us that she had hit her head on the motel’s swimming pool ledge, and they had a witness to the “accident.” I called DCF, at the time the Deparment of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and all of us thought that the patient could safely be discharged to her parents.

Weeks later, the little girl was admitted again with inflicted second-degree burns. I felt horrible and wanted to quit.

However, I learned from the experience and continued in the field for two more years. Caretakers lie. Caseworkers and others make misjudgments. The system needs more resources. And, workers in this field need to be more suspicious and better trained. They must have their workloads reduced so that the right attention and action can save more children.

Shirley Press, M.D., Hollywood

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Budget cuts and another South Florida tragedy

    Our deepest sympathy goes out to each of the families and loved ones that are suffering right now because of the fatal Fourth of July boating accident.

  • Sanctioned bias in Hobby Lobby decision

    We do not have an abortion problem in America — we have an unwanted-pregnancy problem. The five conservatives on the Supreme Court just increased the number of future abortions by removing access to birth control to low-wage working women. Excusing corporations from covering IUDs and other types of birth-control medication has nothing to do with the religion of the corporation and everything to do with weakening the Affordable Care Act and chipping away at women’s reproductive rights.

  • World Cup brawl

    I read with interest the July 6 article 6 arrested, 2 hurt after game day at bar, about the violence at Baru Urbano in Doral after the Colombia/Brazil World cup game. Doral police dropped the ball on this one. It was arguably the biggest game in Colombia’s history. People were crammed into bars drinking since before noon.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category