Reporting compiled and submitted by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser – All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

FL: New project aims to help protect kids from domestic violence
Palm Beach Post – October 29, 2015
These in-depth investigations are aimed at helping to keep the child in the home of the non-offending parent while removing the parent accused of domestic violence.

FL: Gov. proposes another boost for child welfare agency
Associated Press – October 28, 2015
Scott on Tuesday announced that he would ask legislators for a nearly $23 million increase for the Department of Children and Families. The governor wants the extra money to go to community based care agencies so they can hire 272 case managers to reduce caseloads.

FL: Senate bill would overhaul foster-care placements
News Service of Florida – October 27, 2015
A bill aimed at reducing instability for foster children has started to move forward in the Florida Senate and would require the child-welfare system to match kids with their best placement options — rather than, as critics charge, the first beds that are handy.
FL: Newly released records shows years of suspected abuse in Thomas household (Opinion)
WWSB – October 28, 2015
The Confidential Investigative Summery highlighted seven different case files of potential abuse, and it has many questioning why DCF didn’t permanently remove all the children a long time ago? ABC 7 reached out to Doug Staley, the CEO of Child Protection Center, who says removing a child isn’t cut and dry.

FL: Housing program helps former foster kids adjust to life on their own (Includes video)
ABC Action News – October 07, 2015
Foster children in Florida face many challenges when they turn 18 and age out of the foster care system. For the first time, many of them are completely on their own with no support system.

FL: Restoring kids of human trafficking: Front & Center (Opinion) (Requires registration)
Orlando Sentinel – October 06, 2015
New laws do little for youth who’ve already been exploited. That’s why Devereux Florida, a group that cares for youth who’ve endured sexual traumas, is recruiting foster parents to tend to their specialized needs. Lindsey Phillips, Devereux’s director of external affairs, discusses that push and Florida’s ascension as a leader in human trafficking.

FL: Howard Bishop Middle selected to become a ‘community school’
Gainesville Sun – October 08, 2015
A community school would address the welfare, social, emotional and medical needs of students and the community outside of the classroom. It would include bringing programs such as tutoring services, medical services and other initiatives that would help improve student success. “This is not an academic program. This is a set of services that is provided at the school,” Roberts said.

FL: Lawmakers Looking To Build On Florida Law Extending Foster Care Age (Includes audio)
WFSU – October 08, 2015
It’s been almost two years since a law took effect extending the age for foster care youth in the system. Florida lawmakers are now looking to build on that effort.

FL: DeWitt: Step up to save Hernando’s visitation center (Opinion)
Tampa Bay Times – October 15, 2015
What this state most certainly does not need is one less safe place for vulnerable children. That, however, is what it will get at the end of this month with the closing of the Family Visitation Center of Hernando County. Actually, the center in Citrus County will also shut down, making two fewer safe places.

FL: Special-needs families find wait list up to 10 years long (May require free registration)
Orlando Sentinel – October 17, 2015
Theoretically, the state of Florida helps families like the Creeses. In fact, Avery is on the state’s waiting list to get a Medicaid waiver that would provide help, including at-home care to give Greg some relief, because, in Florida, the average wait time is six years.
FL: DCF-UCF partnership looks to groom well-trained social workers
Bay News – October 24, 2015
The Dept. of Children and Families is offering an opportunity for students to get money for college in return for a job. The University of Central Florida is partnering DCF on the program. Also: UCF leading statewide project to aid social work agencies:

FL: DCF Head Carroll: We Had ‘Systemic Failures’ In Latest High Profile Child Deaths (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – October 23, 2015
“I’ve listened to that call personally,” said Carroll. “And, that call met the protocol to be accepted. We had enough information to identify who the person was. And, certainly, some of the concerns, she was relaying, although they were mostly hearsay and she couldn’t corroborate much of it. It certainly met the allegation metrics and should have resulted in a call, where somebody went to the hospital to check.” Also: DCF secretary points to ‘system failure’ in child deaths: