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Girl Dies While Agencies Argue

A severely disabled 12-year-old girl under state care has died from starvation or neglect.  When Tamiyah Audain’s mother died in December 2012, she was placed with a maternal cousin in Broward County, putting her under the care of ChildNet, according to the Miami Herald (paywall alert). 

During the next 10 months, while ChildNet and Florida’s Department of Children & Families bickered about who should pay for Tamiya’s care and where she should live, the pre-teen, who was diagnosed with autism and tuberous sclerosis, languished in the relative’s home.  The cousin had told authorities that she could only care for Tamiya “temporarily.” 

Meanwhile, an aunt who lives in Kentucky had been deemed “an appropriate caregiver” and was willing to care for Tamiya.  However, ChildNet was unwilling to send Tamiyah to the aunt, since the aunt who would care for the girl would not adopt her.  A report states that when Tamiyah’s body was found Thursday morning, police found bedsores and an “open wound” on her malnourished body.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.