There are far too many children who have continued to experience abuse in their homes by their parents or paramours after such abuse has been reported multiple times to investigators for the Department of Children & Families or the Sheriff’s offices. Sadly, these children may be ignored by Florida’s child protection system, left in their homes risking serious injuries or even death.
Case Against Child Welfare Agencies Which Allowed Child to be Discharged to Drug Addict Mom Settles for Undisclosed Amount. Florida child abuse attorneys sued child welfare agencies, a substance abuse provider, and a hospital in Pinellas County, FL on behalf of a child who suffered permanent brain damage and other injuries due to malnutrition and neglect when he was just six months old. The child was born substance exposed to a mother with an extensive substance abuse history and prior child welfare history. The child was left in his mother’s care and the family was placed under voluntary “diversion” services for approximately three months. The child sustained his injuries six weeks after the diversion case closed.
Case Involving Negligent Investigation and Failure to Protect Children From Foreseeable Abuse and Neglect. This lawsuit was filed in Lake County, FL against DCF and private community-based child welfare providers for negligent investigation and failure to protect two young children from foreseeable abuse and neglect in the care of their mother and her paramour. Despite the high-risk factors present due to unexplained injuries to both children, the family was placed under Voluntary Protective Supervision with no court oversight. The family relocated from Osceola County to Lake County and the case was closed without court intervention despite the significant risk to the children. Four months later, the boy, who was sixteen months old, died from abuse and was found to have numerous fractures in various stages of healing and a skull fracture. The girl, who was two years old, witnessed her brother’s murder and was also found to have several fractures and other injuries. The case resolved against DCF for sovereign immunity limits of $200,000 and for an undisclosed amount as to the private agencies.