Gayle Harrell

Lawmakers To Look At Group Homes For Foster KidsLawmakers and the Florida Department of Children and Families are looking to increase accountability and improve standards at group homes for foster children.
State Leaders Look To Pass Mental Health Reform In 2016As they reviewed legislative issues affecting children, lawmakers and state agency heads said this week they will push again in 2016 for two key bills that died in the abrupt end to this spring's regular session.
DCF Chief: Hotline Refused Call Week Before Girl's DeathThe secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families told lawmakers Wednesday that the state abuse hotline screened out not one but two calls about potential danger to 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck --- with the first call a week before her death in the waters of Tampa Bay.
Scott Urged To Make Interim Secretaries Permanent At DCF, DJJAs he gets ready to start a second term, Gov. Rick Scott will have to choose leaders for the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
House, Senate Move Closer On Revamping Child Welfare The Florida Legislature is poised to pass a landmark measure that would overhaul the state’s troubled child-welfare system, as the House and Senate versions of the proposal moved closer together Monday.
Lawmakers Search For Compromise On Sex-Trafficking Bill A Florida House panel spent months on a sweeping measure that would ensure services for sex-trafficking victims, but the bill is stalled in the Senate over one issue --- a proposal to detain some victims for months to keep them from returning to their pimps.
Lawmakers' Focus On Child Protection Gains Momentum A Florida House panel approved a potentially groundbreaking child-protection measure Tuesday, designed to upgrade the effectiveness, professionalism and transparency of a state agency under fire after a series of children's deaths.
As Outrage Grows Over Child Deaths, Lawmakers Talk Money Legislative leaders are responding to public outrage over a series of child deaths in Florida last year --- and not just in the policy arena. They're also talking about spending more money on the state's troubled child-welfare system.
House Panel Passes Bill Aimed At Serving Sexually Exploited ChildrenA House panel on Wednesday unanimously passed a sweeping measure aimed at better identifying and serving sexually exploited children.
Time's Running Out For Children's Health Care BillA bill aiming to expand access to health care coverage for Florida children may not be passed in time.
Insurance Regulators Struggling To Implement Federal Health LawInsurance regulators across Florida have a Herculean task on their hands.