The suicide of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers in foster care shocked the child-welfare system in 2009. It led to a series of recommendations about Florida’s use of psychotropic medications on foster kids and how to protect already-traumatized children from sexual abuse by other abused children.
The upcoming year’s state budget surplus will turn into a windfall for social services programs. The new 2013-14 budget provides new money to many programs for the first time in five years.
Fear of government intervention in Miami-Dade’s heavily Hispanic and Haitian communities has led to the county having one of the lowest rates, among Florida’s larger counties, for calls to the state’s child abuse hotline.