The readers’ forum

Fix DCF ‘transformation’ before shaping new model

 

I congratulate Department of Children & Families Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo for engaging outside experts to review the safety model, tools and practice manual intended to improve how child-protective investigators and community-based-care agencies perform. She recognized that there were many unanswered questions and that a full analysis was needed.

That was good thinking, because that report is in, and it points to many things that need to be improved before the new system is ready to be started. In fact, one statement from that report alone requires DCF to stop the implementation of this new system when it says, “The safety model’s guidelines are incongruent with child protection practices designed for babies and toddlers, the age group at greatest risk for serious inflicted injuries and maltreatment fatalities.” In other words, the new system does not fully protect the children most at risk.

Secretary Jacobo should heed its recommendations, starting with halting the implementation of the new system until such time as all the components have been revised, tried and tested.

Every Floridian wants child-protective investigators to have the best tools, training and practices to help keep kids safe and with their families whenever possible.

The Casey Family Programs report makes it clear that more work is needed before Florida’s new model will achieve its intended purpose.

Pushing ahead with training and piecemeal implementation is a waste of time, talent and money. It’s time for DCF to stop, regroup and invest needed resources to make sure our new model does what we need it to do — protect Florida’s kids and support families.

Christina Spudeas,

executive director,

Florida’s Children First,

Coral Springs

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Redistricting redux

    One need to look no further than the Aug. 12 piece Challenges expected on approved maps on redistricting that shows Florida’s Legislature simply cannot be trusted to impartially and apolitically draw legislative districts. When the House Redistricting Committee chairman, Republican Rep. Richard Corcoran (in addressing the revised Congressional map previously found unconstitutional) says, “If that is a Republican map, I’m proudly and utterly guilty of doing that,” then it’s clear the Legislature is unwilling and unable to enact the Fair Districts amendments. It’s high time for the courts, or a nonpartisan third party, step in to craft legislative districts.

  • Floating courthouse?

    I suppose the new courthouse (in the unlikely event its funding is approved by the citizens) will be elevated to account for sea level rise predicted by all local climate experts. Where will its users come from as the sea inundates the densely populated coastal areas of Miami-Dade while state and local governments played the proverbial Nero’s fiddle? We have limited funds; let’s prioritize wisely and put survival of our community ahead of the admittedly dire needs of the justice system.

  • Lifetime Rocket fan

    I read with disgust the letter that Coach Roland Smith of Miami Central High received from a Hoover football fan. I have been an educator my entire life and I’ve tried to eradicate the ignorance of judging someone for the color of their skin. My mentor and best friend in the school system for years was Percy Oliver, a black All-American football player from Illinois who became principal and head of athletics for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He became my dad after my father died, and we never let the color of our skin determine the limits or boundaries of our friendship.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

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