Trash, feces, bug infestation and a setting one judge called “an immediate danger” to the six children inside, is the circumstances child abuse authorities discovered this week in a Central Florida home. The discovery begs child advocates and those who work to prevent child neglect to ask how parents can allow their children to live amid these horrible conditions – and what society can do to help reduce such neglect.
The six children were living in the home with their parents. Officials described the smell as “horrid.” Authorities also found in the home marijuana plants and a firearm. Central Florida authorities discovered the “deplorable” conditions at a home near Kissimmee this week. Read the entire story here.
In what news media call an “odd twist,” the mother was an employee with the Florida Department of Children and Families, the same state agency that typically investigates cases of child abuse, sexual abuse, and other real or potential harm to children statewide. The woman was fired after she and her husband were arrested following a raid on the residence. In fact, the mother reportedly had been in training for the past month to investigate such cases.
“Drugs and child neglect: It’s something we absolutely cannot stand for,” DCF spokeswoman Kristin Gray told the media following the arrest. The parents appeared in court this week and the children were placed by a judge with family members.
As state officials and advocates work to shore up Florida’s laws protecting at-risk, abused and injured children, incidents like these remind us how pervasive and pernicious such settings can be. Fighting child abuse and neglect are an ongoing battle. It remains up to everyone to stand up and speak up when such episodes are discovered.