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child abuse

Polk County School Bus Attendant Juanita Tippin
Polk County Sheriff's Office

The Polk County Sheriff's office has arrested a school bus attendant for abusing children and adults in her charge. 

Child abuse increases the day after school report cards are released — but only when kids get their grades on a Friday, a study led by a University of Florida psychologist suggests.

Hillsborough County Jail

Florida's child welfare department says a previous investigation of a mother charged with drowning her 4-year-old autistic daughter in a river was handled correctly.

Hillsborough County Jail

A Tampa woman is being held without bond on first-degree murder charges after she allegedly dragged her 4-year-old daughter into the Hillsborough River and left the girl to drown.

Authorities say a 2-year-old Florida boy was hospitalized with marijuana and cocaine in his system.

Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis said he wants to discourage violence on city properties by declaring them “Hit-Free zones.”

Dozier Victims Measure Moves Forward

Jan 30, 2018

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday approved a bill that will create a process allowing the certification of victims of abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna and a related juvenile facility in Okeechobee.

Authorities say a Florida man shot a young boy with an airsoft gun as punishment.

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.

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.


Scott Approves Payments In Deaths, Injuries

Jun 6, 2017

The family of a Florida State University football player who died during a 2001 training session will receive the remainder of a legal settlement after Gov. Rick Scott signed 11 “claim” bills last week.

Lawmakers Back Payment In Death, Injury Cases

May 17, 2017

Saying the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't do its job, state lawmakers last month approved paying $3.75 million in a 2011 child-abuse case that drew national headlines.

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.

A number of claims bills which found Florida’s child welfare agency at fault are now heading to the House floor. Among them is a high profile bill involving twins that further compensates the surviving victim, in an abuse case that took his twin sister’s life.

Seven employees at a Florida agency that investigates child abuse have been disciplined for mishandling allegations of abuse involving a woman whose daughter’s body was found inside a freezer.

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.

The head of Florida’s child welfare agency as well as some state lawmakers are renewing a push towards mental health and substance abuse reform in connection with protecting kids in the state’s care.

A new survey commissioned by a sexual abuse survivor says child abuse occurs more frequently than people think, and reporting the suspected abuse does not happen as much as it should.

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

The two high profile death incidents that occurred in recent months has already spurred a number of changes to Florida’s child welfare agency. That was part of an update two panels in the House and Senate received Thursday as part of a presentation looking at a new law overhauling the agency.

Cautious Optimism at Child Protection Summit

Sep 8, 2014
Florida Department of Children & Families

New money, a new leader and a sweeping new law had Florida's child-welfare professionals and foster parents feeling cautiously optimistic at their annual gathering this week.

After nearly two years of turmoil, the 2,650 attendees at the Department of Children and Families' Child Protection Summit appeared ready to roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

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.

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.

A Sarasota County woman accused of killing her autistic stepdaughter will not face the death penalty, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The prosecution said in court hearings Tuesday it will not seek the death penalty in the case against Melissa Stoddard, who is accused of repeatedly tying the girl down to a board and gagging her. She has plead not guilty and could face life in prison.