State Leaders Look To Improve Mental-Health Funding, PolicyAfter an ambitious effort to revamp Florida's mental-health treatment system died at the end of the last legislative session, state officials are readying a new round of proposals for 2016.
Rate Of Kids Coming Into Foster Care Rising, But Is It Too Much?More children are coming into Florida's foster-care system after a sweeping child-welfare reform law went into effect 19 months ago, but officials say the state is trying to focus on what's best for kids in difficult situations.
BSO Investigating Death Of ToddlerThe Broward Sheriff's Office said homicide detectives are trying to figure out why a 2-year-old girl died early Thursday morning.
Mom Of Girl Found Dead Accused Of Abusing 5 Kids For YearsDocuments released by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office revealed child welfare investigators went several times to a home, at times infested with rats and roaches, where a girl was found dead in a freezer. The documents also stated the mother of the girl was accused of beating her five children for years.
DCF Secretary Points To 'System Failure' In Child DeathsFlorida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll told a Senate panel Thursday that the state's child-protection system appears to have failed two children whose bodies were found in recent days.
DCF, Senators Eye Ways To Bolster Child ProtectionThe chief of the Florida Department of Children and Families told lawmakers Thursday his agency is making progress at carrying out reforms but still has a long way to go.
Scott Signs Executive Order Tracking Mental Health ServicesAs the state Department of Children and Families convened its annual child-protection summit Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order aimed at better coordinating mental health services --- something DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said will help his agency provide improved care for children.
Departed DCF Boss Still Troubled By Bell KillingsAfter his resignation from the Florida Department of Children and Families, David Abramowitz is still troubled by the killing of six children and their mother in the tiny Gilchrist County town of Bell.
Smith Renews Debate On After-School Background ChecksA legislative battle over state regulation of after-school programs will return during the 2016 legislative session.
New Rules Bring Focus To Gay, Transgender Youth In Foster CareAs the state Department of Children and Families considers a new rule governing group homes for foster kids, advocates are pushing to include provisions requiring better treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths who live in such facilities.
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 Faulted For Oversight Of Privatized AgenciesTwo reports presented to lawmakers last week criticized the Florida Department of Children and Families for poor oversight of the privatized agencies that deliver child-welfare, substance-abuse and mental-health services statewide.
House Panel Questions DCF Secretary On Slain Girl's DeathA Florida House panel on Tuesday heard details on a report about a 5-year old whose father is accused of throwing her off a bridge in Tampa.
Advocates: State Should Spend More On Children In Surplus YearChildren's advocates say they're "cautiously optimistic" about Gov. Rick Scott's budget recommendations for the coming spending year, which contain relatively few cuts to programs that serve Florida's children.
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.