The readers’ forum

Protect children from future risks

 

The Miami Herald’s March 16 investigative report, Innocents lost, which examines the deaths of 477 children who were known to be at risk by the Department of Children & Families, shockingly revealed the abysmal failure of DCF and its community partners to protect these children.

As DCF reduced the number of children in its dangerous, burgeoning out-of-home care system from 50,000 in 2002 to 16,000, it failed, along with its private partners, to take action to protect the children that investigators determined were in harm’s way.

Interim DCF Secretary Esther Jacobo has been open to seeking collaborative solutions to address these failures, and the Florida Legislature is considering several measures that could create the reforms advocates have been demanding for years to protect both children in the community and those taken into state care, as well.

Under current law, when state workers investigate reports of abuse, they must close their investigations within 60 days, no matter the finding of future risk. Proposed legislation would require lead agencies to monitor safety plans with interventions and services specifically tailored for each child and family beyond the 60-day investigation period if protective investigators determine that there is high risk to children in future.

Additionally, the Legislature needs to ensure that children who are placed in state care are also safe from the dangers of overcrowded foster care, including child-on-child sexual abuse, and have permanent families in one year, as state law requires.

Florida must protect both the children in the community and those who must be in state custody.

It’s not just DCF’s and its community partners’ job, it is their moral and legal obligation.

Howard Talenfeld, president, Florida’s Children First,

Fort Lauderdale

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Respect is missing

    I remember, 32 years ago, as a new wife and stepmother, saying to my new family: "You don't have to love me, but you are going to respect me in this house." Anything worthwhile takes time, patience and respect for others and their personal frame of reference. That is sorely absent in our world today, especially from those for whom they are of the utmost importance.

  • The readers’ forum

    The Americans with Disabilities Act opened doors

    July 26 marked the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law passed in 1990 that for the first time in our history created nationwide standards for combating discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, telecommunications relay services and government activities.

  • Lure of free money

    If Joy-Ann Reid were honest, she would tell folks that the ACA was written by Democrats specifically to prevent people who enroll in the federal exchange from receiving subsidies, as subsidies would be available only in the state run exchanges. The Democrats thought the lure of free money would encourage the states to set up their own exchanges. This was no drafting error, as plainly seen by the wording of the act, which in several sections clearly stated that subsidies would be for state exchanges only. Democrats wrote and passed this bill, apparently without reading it.

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