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Health News Florida

2 More Kids Die on DCF Watch

Miami Herald

Seven children have died as a result of abuse and neglect despite DCF claims that they were out of harm’s way, the Miami Herald reports.  
Last week, 3-year-old Dakota Stiles drowned in the unsanitary pool in his backyard in Indian River. Two weeks before the tragedy, Florida Department of Children and Families visited the residence after the toddler wandered into his neighbor’s yard for almost an hour without the mother noticing. The agency deemed the pool unsafe but said the toddler did not face immediate danger. 
Dakota is the second child to die under the agency’s interim secretary, Esther Jacobo, who took over David Wilkins’ position after his recent resignation. Jacobo told the Herald the agency is working to take corrective action right away. 
The Miami Herald received internal DCF reports for both Dakota and 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, a Jacksonville girl who authorities say was killed and raped by her mother’s friend, a registered sex offender. Both reports show that DCF had been involved with the families of these children for years.