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Florida Department of Children and Families

DCF reminds families to stay safe while celebrating Independence Day

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As Floridians celebrate the long Independence Day weekend, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is reminding parents and caregivers to take extra precautions to keep children safe. While Independence Day is an important time to reflect on the nation’s history and celebrate our freedom, it is also important to take some simple steps to ensure your family’s safety. “Whether on the playground or at a campground, make sure your family stays safe as you celebrate Independence Day,” DCF…

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Florida wildlife officials urge safety, beacons for July Fourth weekend boating

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During the Fourth of July holiday, many people take to the water to celebrate Independence Day. The warm, sunny days of summer combined with viewing fireworks puts many more boats and people on the water near one another. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges boaters to use caution while boating on this busy holiday. Inattentiveness or improper lookout cause many boating accidents. “Boat operators have a personal responsibility to make sure their passengers are safe and they…

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George Sheldon, under fire in Illinois, also faces questions at home

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George Sheldon, a former Florida official now facing an ethics inquiry as director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services, also ran into a spot of trouble at home this week. Property records show Sheldon, secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families in 2008-11, claimed a homestead exemption on his Tallahassee house while he was living and working in Chicago. He also was listed as “delinquent” on paying his Florida Bar dues, according to its website. In a phone…

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George Sheldon now taken to task by hometown paper

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George Sheldon‘s hometown newspaper now has weighed in on the former Florida politico, putting in newsprint the latest ethics woes of the now-director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services. The Tallahassee Democrat’s Monday edition (online version here), with help from the Chicago Tribune’s estimable reporting of the last few weeks, documented Sheldon’s travails as head of Illinois’ DCFS. The lede, by the nearly 20-year Democrat veteran Jeff Burlew: “George Sheldon, a well-known figure in Florida politics who took over Illinois’ troubled…

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‘Single worst case:’ Bill compensating Barahona twins’ survivors gets committee approval

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In a case of two young children who endured torture, sexual abuse, violence, murder and attempted murder by an adoptive family while the Florida Department of Children and Families did nothing, a House committee Tuesday voted to support a $5 million settlement. The money would go to Victor Docter Barahona, now 16, who survived the physical and mental abuse, torture, and attempted murder, and to other beneficiaries including blood relatives of his and his twin sister Nubia Docter Barahona, whose equally-horrific young life…

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Teacher fell asleep during school, leaving toddlers unsupervised

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Five minutes could’ve been enough time for a deadly mistake to happen, a parent was reported saying after it was revealed one of the teachers at her toddler’s daycare class in Hobe Sound, Florida, had fallen asleep during class – in the class – as a second teacher was gone in a bathroom, leaving the children unsupervised. It may be have only been a few minutes, but it was enough time for 2-year-olds to find trouble, according to Rachel Nee,…

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