LISTEN LIVE

child welfare

In response to a spate of child abuse deaths in Florida, state lawmakers in 2014 created teams to investigate the root causes of these deaths and report them to Florida’s child welfare agency. Now, a similar effort is underway for the state’s elderly population.

Governor Rick Scott says he wants about $200 million for Florida families who adopt foster kids.

With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend millions to hire more child protective investigators and boost money spent on services for children adopted from foster care.


Florida’s child welfare officials are doing a review of their system and already looking ahead legislatively on the state and national level on what can be done to further help children within the system.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

There's been a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes in the Tampa Bay Area over the past few years. And foster care agencies are struggling to keep up with the influx.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the challenges those who work in the foster care system are facing and how it impacts the children they serve.


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.


Advocates are happy about a new law on the books slated to take effect Saturday to help protect kids within Florida’s child welfare system.

The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.

The first black President of the United States is a good role model and a good father. That’s according to the head of Florida’s child welfare agency, who spoke during a recent Black History Month celebration.

Florida authorities are looking for a child protective investigator they say was dealing heroin and cocaine.


Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office / Facebook page

Florida detectives are investigating the death of a toddler who was in foster care and about to be adopted.

Lawmakers Poised To Pass Child Welfare Bills

Mar 3, 2016

After a spate of child deaths in Florida, the Department of Children and Families is doubling down on child welfare reforms. Now state lawmakers are poised to pass a suite of bills to bolster that effort.

A Florida radiologist and his wife are facing child abuse charges after authorities say they routinely tied up a 12-year-old girl who lived at their home and confined her to a playhouse.

A bill that builds on past reforms to revamp Florida’s troubled child welfare agency is now headed to the Governor.

A couple of measures aimed at helping Florida’s most vulnerable are now heading to the Senate floor, after passing their last committee Monday.

Child-Welfare Groups Look to Trim Staff Turnover

Sep 9, 2014
Florida's Children First

One of the worst problems facing Florida's troubled child-welfare system, advocates say, is job turnover among the case managers who oversee adoption and foster-care services --- 80 percent in some parts of the state.

It's costing Florida tens of millions of dollars a year, and those are just the costs that can be quantified.

Child Welfare Bill Draws Calls for ‘Moral Outrage’ --- and More Funding

Apr 3, 2014

A Florida Senate panel on Wednesday approved a sweeping child-welfare reform bill amid calls from foster parents to help more children and pleas from providers to fund the changes properly.

The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee voted 12-1 to approve a measure (SB 1666) that collapses three bills (SB 1666, 1668 and 1670) into one. It would make a series of changes to the Florida Department of Children and Families and the community-based care agencies that provide adoption and foster care services to children in the state system.

As Outrage Grows over Child Deaths, Lawmakers Talk Money

Mar 19, 2014

Legislative leaders are responding to public outrage over a series of child deaths in Florida last year --- and not just in the policy arena. They're also talking about spending more money on the state's troubled child-welfare system.

Committees have been studying the deaths since September and have come up with complex legislation touching a dozen different concerns, from improved safety planning to expanded death reviews to keeping siblings together and medically fragile children in their communities.

Pages