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DAYTONA BEACH -- New law targets false reporting of child welfareworkers
New law targets false reporting of child welfare workers
By DEBORAH CIRCELLI
DAYTONA BEACH -- An adult investigator for the state Department of
Children & Families details in a report that he talked to two suspected
victims of abuse.
The only problem is the victims said they never spoke to him.
In another local case, a state investigator writes in a report that he
spoke to a Port Orange police officer about a child being abused.
But, turns out, the officer said he was never contacted and wasn't even
on duty at the time the DCF investigator said the conversation took place.
Those are two of several cases in recent years where state officials
found child welfare workers falsified records.
But rarely in such cases locally or statewide do workers face
prosecution, according to a recent report by the DCF Inspector General's
State officials hope that will change after legislators earlier this
year made it a felony not only when a worker alters an existing
document, but creates a false one -- which the old law didn't address.
John Tanner, state attorney for the local judicial circuit, said the
change "is appropriate and necessary" to protect children and senior
citizens. Clearing up the language, Tanner said, will give the cases
"more weight" for prosecution.
DCF Inspector General Sheryl Steckler said she hopes as word spreads
about the change, more state attorneys will be willing to prosecute.
"It's simple now -- if you falsify, you commit a crime," Steckler said.
Statewide, the DCF Inspector General's Office referred 42 state DCF
employees and private contractors last fiscal year, Steckler said. Eight
were prosecuted and 15 were not. Nineteen are still pending review by
law enforcement or state attorney offices.
Andrea Moore, an attorney and executive director of Florida's Children
First, a statewide nonprofit children's advocacy group, said, "When you
have crimes of violence versus this type of crime, it's hard to convince
prosecutors to take it seriously."
Reggie Williams, local DCF circuit administrator, said two of his
employees have falsified records since he took over in March 2006. The
two resigned and the reports were sent to the Inspector General's
Office. Both said they visited families about alleged abuse, but they
"When you falsify, it ruins the credibility of the organization,"
Community Partnership for Children, which provides local foster care for
the state, was close to losing its contract in 2004 after several
workers lied about checking on foster children.
The agency now requires the foster parent and child to sign a form when
The key, according to Ron Zychowski, CEO of Community Partnership for
Children, is to ensure workers have reasonable caseloads and know they
can go to their supervisor for help.
"Case managers should never feel (lying) is the only option I have in
order to get the bureaucrats off my back about getting my work done,"
Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child
Protection Reform, is glad Florida closed the loophole but doesn't think
it will make a big difference. He said the state needs to remove fewer
children from their homes so workers are not overloaded and "have more
time to find the children in real danger."
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA / CIA
CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.
every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...
Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS
*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*
Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5
Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that
are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per
100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse
and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the
citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold
parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY
government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and
death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more
human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which
they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that
they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when
children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a
bunch of social workers.
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
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