child abuse

A mother in West Boca faces a child abuse charge after giving her 6-year-old son one of the Adderall pills that had been prescribed for her, but not him.

A 9-year-old boy who was almost stabbed to death by his own father is suing the Florida Department of Children and Families for not doing enough to protect him and his brother, who died after the brutal attack, the Miami Herald reports (Editor’s note: readers may encounter paywall).

Submitted to the Ocala Star-Banner

Had she lived, Yvonne Bailey would be celebrating her second birthday this week.  As the Ocala Star-Banner reports, Yvonne had been taken from her father, who was caring for her when her arm was burned in a home meth lab. After spending some time in foster care, she eventually ended up in the home of a man who was never supposed to be her caretaker.

Family photo

Twenty children who had come into contact with the Department of Children and Families have died since April 11 -- four times as many as had previously been named, the Miami Herald reports. One was Jewel Re’nee Howard, a 3-year-old who had told her father of abuse inflicted by her mother’s boyfriend, who had a history of arrests and charges. DCF failed to act, which cost Jewel her life. 

Paul Caffrey

Florida men accounted for a large contingent of the 255 arrested in a nationwide crackdown on predators who use the Internet to draw children into pornography, the  Orlando Sentinel reports. 


One of the men was from a Sanford-based missionary group. Three of the child victims were from Florida.

Melissa Lyttle / Tampa Bay Times

When Biannela Susana first gave birth, she was a child herself; by the time she was 25 she had four children. Now she has none, and is in Duval County jail awaiting sentencing for manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old son -- even though she wasn’t the one who killed him. The Tampa Bay Times reports the story of an unfolding tragedy. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF

This week, WUSF’s public affairs show Florida Matters focuses on human trafficking in Florida.

According a local nonprofit organization working to tackle sexual exploitation, Manatee County is one of the worst places in the country for human trafficking.

A mother convicted of child neglect after her 13-year-old mentally disabled daughter was found malnourished and covered in lice and crabs will spend 18 years in prison, the Florida Times-Union reports. Jessica Rivera’s daughter died a week after she was removed from the home, where authorities say three siblings lived in similar conditions.  She originally faced manslaughter charges. 

A Cape Coral toddler is dead, two weeks after a child-services contractor returned him to his mother and her boyfriend, and the Department of Children & Families is investigating. As the Miami Herald reports, the case is the third in recent weeks in which a child has died after intervention by investigators. (Editor’s note: Readers may encounter a paywall to read this article.)

Two recent child deaths may be linked to mental illness and substance abuse that child protection agencies overlooked.

In one case, a 23-year-old South Florida woman has been sent for psychiatric evaluation after her arrest on suspicion of suffocating her young son. The woman had had contact with police in the past when she had episodes of what appeared to be a serious mental illness, the Miami Herald reports.

Ten years ago, children were slipping through the cracks of Florida’s state-run foster care system resulting in child abuse episodes that gained national attention. In an effort to fix the failing model,  the state turned over foster care and adoption services to private agencies.

A 3-year-old is in critical condition after he ingested Drano from a sippy cup in his home, where police say his parents were running a meth lab, the Pensacola News Journal reports. The child’s father is being held without bond on child abuse and drug charges.  

The Florida Department of Children and Families is using Facebook to broaden its reach on child abuse prevention, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The thinking is that young parents -- those who use social  media a lot -- are the prime target for the message.

Emma Morrison was born last year to a mother who had permanently lost custody of her four other children and both of Emma’s parents had a long history of domestic violence, drug abuse, and arrests. Yet child-service workers sent the newborn home with her mother. It did not end well, the Miami Herald reports.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Nearly 400 people from 17 different states have signed up for the 2013 Python Challenge this weekend in the Everglades, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. There are cash prizes for the longest snake, and for the hunter who nabs the most, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

The father of an 11-year-old who died from oxygen deprivation admitted to police that he and his wife would “hog tie” the girl and duct tape her mouth to keep her quiet. The child’s mother said she was autistic.

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