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Child welfare

DCF promotes two to leadership team

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), the state’s child welfare agency, announced Monday two new additions to its top ranks. JoShonda Guerrier was named assistant secretary for the Office of Child Welfare and Jeri Flora Culley will become assistant secretary for economic self-sufficiency, Secretary Mike Carroll said in an email. “JoShonda and Jeri have been proven leaders and I am thrilled to see each of them begin serving in an increased leadership capacity,” he said. “As an organization committed to learning and improving to better…

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DCF workers feeling “overwhelmed” and “defeated,” new report says

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An internal review by the Department of Children and Families depicts a still dysfunctional agency, with workers feeling “unsupported,” “overwhelmed,” and “defeated.” The 133-page report, commissioned by DCF Secretary Mike Carroll, was released Thursday afternoon to FloridaPolitics.com in response to a public records request. It has been referred to informally in DCF circles as the “Sanford Report” after its lead author, retired lawyer Peggy Sanford.  “Secretary Carroll established a work group to ensure the best practices are in place to protect every child we serve,”…

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Amy Foster officially becomes a mom tomorrow

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council member Amy Foster will officially become a mom Tuesday morning, her Facebook page announces. She’s been navigating the adoption process since March, when she took in a senior in high school that had bounced from home to home for several years. Foster is adopting 18-year-old Mariah Boyd, who just graduated from high school in Polk County. She’s doing so despite the fact that Boyd is technically an adult and without a second thought that she’s only…

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Boys and Girls Clubs advocates cry foul over sexual predator remark

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In the tension-filled chambers of a Legislative Session’s final days words matter and poorly chosen ones can stress long-standing relationships. Supporters of the Boys and Girls Club of Florida on Thursday pushed back on remarks Sen. Eleanor Sobel made after Wednesday’s meeting of the Children Families and Elder Affairs Committee. The committee had unanimously approved SB 250 that mandates level 2 background checks, a nationwide criminal search of fingerprints, for groups working with children. Afterward Sobel remarked there were numerous…

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Calls to hotline warned now-dead boy was being abused

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Child welfare officials were warned three times about possible abuse or neglect regarding a 3-year-old Hollywood boy whose body was found hidden last week in his father’s home. The Department of Children and Families released a report Wednesday revealing that someone called the child abuse hotline last year concerned that Ahziya Osceola had bumps and bruises and complained of a sore bottom. He was examined but a doctor couldn’t determine whether his bruised rectum was from constipation or sexual abuse.…

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