foster children

Changes to Florida’s child-welfare system, sponsored by Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine), are finally law after two years of debate in Tallahassee.

Stevenson said her 100-page measure gives investigators more power to keep kids safe.


Study: DCF Must Improve Foster Child Care

Jan 22, 2017

The federal agency has given the Florida Department of Children and Families 90 days to devise a plan to improve care for foster children.

DCF To Move Ahead With Foster-Care Changes After Bill Fails

Mar 16, 2016
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A bill aimed at reforming the way Florida foster children are placed in group homes died on the last day of the 2016 legislative session.

Report: Foster Kids Still Being Medicated Without Proper Consent

Sep 23, 2015

Despite an outcry in 2009 over a 7-year-old's apparent suicide, a draft report from the research arm of Florida's child-protection system shows that foster children are still being put on psychotropic medications without caregivers following proper procedures.

State Sees Sharp Spike In Number Of Children In Foster Care

Jul 6, 2015

 The number of Florida children in the state's foster-care system has reached its highest level since 2008 --- driven by both a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes and a drop in the number being discharged after a stint in foster care.

In the last 24 months, the number of children in what's known as out-of-home care has reached 22,004 statewide, up from 17,591 in 2013.

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A new study shows that 13 percent of Florida's 18,000 foster youth are living in group homes instead of with a family.

A national report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed 57,000 of the 400,000 foster children in the U.S. live in group placements. Colorado had the highest number at 35 percent.

These placements have been shown to be harmful to a child's opportunities to develop strong, nurturing attachments. Those who grow up in group placements are also at greater risk of being abused and being arrested.

Lawmakers Tweak Extended Foster Care Law

Apr 14, 2015
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  Lawmakers are working on changes to a two-year-old law that extended foster care in Florida from ages 18 to 21 and sought to give kids more time to prepare for independence.

Hailed as groundbreaking --- in fact, it was named the "Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act" for its Senate sponsor --- the law is likely to get a tweak this session.

Senate Bill Aims to Shift More Florida Foster Kids Out of Group Homes

Mar 16, 2015
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As lawmakers continue efforts to shore up the front lines of Florida’s child-protection system, they are also eyeing the back end — that is, what happens to children who have been removed from family homes due to abuse and neglect.

House and Senate committees this week examined the options for those children, with the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee on Thursday passing a bill (SB 940) aimed at helping foster children who live in group homes.

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Some foster children are not getting their required medical screenings even though the visits are paid for by Medicaid, federal health investigators warn in a study released Monday.

The Health and Human Services' inspector general study looked at a random sample of roughly 400 foster children from California, Texas, New York and Illinois and found nearly 30 percent did not receive one or more of their required health screenings between 2011 and 2012.

Over the next few days, Gov. Rick Scott will examine the state’s $77 billion budget and decide, what if anything to veto. Among the health items in the budget is an increase in the personal spending allowance for long-term care Medicaid patients from $35 to $105 a month, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Advocates say the increase is 25 years overdue.

Also awaiting Scott’s signature:

The New Year triggered a series of new health-related laws in Florida, including a federal law that encourages schools to stock EpiPens to treat allergic reactions.

After months of fighting the Justice Dept. on the issue, the state says its new policy will make it tougher to place disabled children in nursing homes.