Editorials: On Giving DCF More Funding

We hope state lawmakers get serious about fixing problems in the Department of Children and Families. Protecting vulnerable children should be the priority of any society and an essential function of government.

The department’s failure has come to light with the horrifying news of the deaths of children who should have been protected by the state, not put at risk.

On Tuesday, the department’s interim secretary, Esther Jacobo, discussed with lawmakers a report by the Casey Family Programs, a private group she asked to review the deaths.

The Casey staff looked at 40 recent child deaths suspected to have been caused by abuse or neglect.

A disturbing aspect of the report was that a “number of babies in these families later died from asphyxia resulting from co-sleeping with parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” noted the Casey group.

The people given the responsibility to care for the most vulnerable were clearly unfit parents. Unfortunately, no one was watching.

Senators were told that family oversight was the problem. Christina Spudeas, executive director of the advocacy group Florida’s Children First, said quality-assurance staff has been cut by 72 percent.

While government spending continues to be scrutinized, we urge caution when it comes to cutting money budgeted to protect children.

We agree with professor Pam Graham, of Florida State University, who told senators that what is needed are well-trained, professional social workers dealing with troubled families, not cuts. Overworked social workers can’t perform effectively when they each have dozens of families to track.

It’s just asking for more trouble and more death.

Pensacola News Journal

http://www.news-press.com/article/20131111/OPINION/311110018/

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1 comment to Editorials: On Giving DCF More Funding

  • mad angel

    Caseworkers overworked, under a lot of stress and not addressing their mental health issues. Hmmm kinda sounds like the same reasons cps has given for removing children from families. I do believe they claim these kinds of family conditions can create abuse. Yet here they are crying poor mouth when faced with the same issues of parents.
    I fail to see how handing over more money to cps and their workers will create a better environment for our children. We patiently wait for them to get it right while they live the double standards of giving parents and children little to no patients at all.
    I have seen the studies and know for a fact that children are generally better off within their homes. So allowing cps more funding, and more staff to remove children placing them not only in sometimes horrific dangers but also mentally traumatizing the children and impairing their mental developement can not be the solution when regarding our children’s best interest. At this time if cps can not come up with better solutions, than removing children and placing them in foster care than I do believe we need to rethink whether or not cps should be the ones in charge of our children.
    (And fyi they remove more children for neglect which in their definition can mean truancy, medical misunderstandings, families breaking up and poverty.)
    Children being forced from their new and placed in harm’s way under these type of grounds is truly in essence child abuse at its fullest.

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