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The bad, the ugly and the downright horrible – a roundup of today-in-DCF news

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Guns, children, neglect, animal abuse, human trafficking and forced prostitution. These aren’t the beautiful, cliché, sundown-on-the-beach Florida stories, but in an attempt to raise public consciousness about these issues we at Florida Politics bring you today’s ‘DCF Files.’ *** On Monday, the Palm Beach Post published a story citing chilling figures from the Florida Department of Children and Families — in an annual human trafficking dossier, fiscal year 2015-2016 — in which 1,892 reports of human trafficking were recorded during the period. It…

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Senate panel begins work on human trafficking problem

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A Senate committee got a preview of what a coordinated statewide campaign against human trafficking might look at Monday, when a prosecutor detailed Miami’s “victim-centered” attack on the scourge. Esther Jacobo, who runs the program for State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, said prosecutors, support staff, victim specialists, and investigators within the office and other Miami-Dade police departments certainly prosecute traffickers. But they also identify services gaps that make it more difficult to deliver children and young women and men from human…

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Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, push their ‘parent penalty’ tax reform issue with leadership

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Contending that parents are double-taxed for children, Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Utah’s Mike Lee are again pushing a plan to eliminate the so-called “parent penalty” in tax reform, with a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. “Our tax code today treats parents unfairly. The payroll taxes that help pay for federal retirement benefits fall on American parents who simultaneously bear the financial cost of raising their children, the next generation of workers whose…

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Bill Nelson warning about cyber attack vulnerability of toys

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A number of popular internet-connected toys including children’s tablets, a talking stuffed bear and smartwatches are vulnerable to hacking that could expose information about the child and the parents’ credit cards, according to a new cautionary report released Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. Nelson’s report, “Children’s Connected Toys: Data Security and Privacy Concerns,” which he produced as ranking member of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, reports that a toy tablet maker already has been hacked and…

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Report: Health care coverage jumps for Florida children

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A new report released Thursday by Florida CHAIN contends the Affordable Care Act has helped increase the ranks of Florida children with health care coverage by 36 percent since 2013. The report, by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, declares the percentage of children nationally who have health insurance is now at 95.2 percent, an all-time high. The situation is not quite as strong in Florida, but the Sunshine State’s jump of 36 percent over pre-ACA days is among the…

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New Marco Rubio video focuses on his generation doing its part for the children

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Marco Rubio‘s latest and perhaps last campaign video, released Monday, urges “It’s All About Florida” and emphasizes that it is time for his generation to do its part now to leave a better nation for children, including his. “I have four children,” Florida’s U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate states at the beginning of the minute-16-second video, “And I want them to inherit a country that’s as special as the one given to me. To me, that’s the most important issue.” The video,…

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Children’s Forum launches campaign to boost child care, intervention services

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Child advocacy group the Children’s Forum announced a new campaign Tuesday to raise awareness for issues facing Florida youngsters. The “#becausekidscantwait” campaign aims to increase funding for services that reach children in the first five years of their lives, which studies show is the most important time in a child’s development. The group also cited economic projections showing each dollar spent on early learning programs can save up to $17 in government spending later in an individual’s life. “The first…

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