“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
– Frederick Douglass
- Tallahassee Office:
6267 Old Water Oak Rd., Suite 202
Tallahassee, FL 32312
Phone: 844-4KIDLAW (4543529); 754-888-KIDS (5437)
- Attorneys: Howard Talenfeld, Stacie J. Schmerling, Justin Grosz, Lisa M. Elliott
In 1996, the state of Florida privatized child welfare services in an attempt to improve the historical failures that have plagued the Florida child protection systems and contributed to injuries to children who have come into the custody of the state. Regardless of party affiliations, Governors, Department Secretaries, Florida Legislators, and everyone in the Florida Government agree that children are our future. Justice for Kids attorney Howard Talenfeld, as Board President of Florida’s Children First has been involved in the passage of critical legislation designed to use the lessons learned in the worst tragedies involving children. In this effort, Justice for Kids attorneys have been involved with Florida’s interagency education bill, the Children’s Cabinet, Human Trafficking statute, and legislation seeking attorneys for dependent children. Recently, following the death of 2-year-old Jordan Belliveau, the Florida Legislature amended the privatization statute and passed the DCF Accountability Act which increased monitoring of the systems and the capacity of the Department of Children and Families to sanction failing agencies.
- Lawsuit For Wrongful Death and Survival Claims. Lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Florida against lead community-based agency, sub-contacted case management agency, and case manager for wrongful death and survival claims under state law and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to prevent the rapid and significant mental health deterioration of foster child ultimately resulting in her death by suicide after she ran away from the case management agency’s office while unsupervised despite her known history of running away and suicide attempts. The case was resolved for undisclosed amounts.
- Settlement For Kids Sexually Assaulted in a Children’s Shelter. Several disabled foster children were sexually assaulted in a children’s shelter, notwithstanding notice to the agency charged with operating it that there were sexually aggressive children in the shelter harming vulnerable younger children placed in their care. This case settled for undisclosed amounts, which were placed in a trust to help the children.
- Governor Scott Signs $5 Million Claims Bill for Child Sexually Abused by Foster Boy Living in the Home CMH v. Florida Department of Children & Families (Palm Beach). On Friday, March 23, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed CS/HB 6509, a claims bill that directs the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to pay more than a $5 million judgment awarded by a Florida jury to C.M.H., a victim of sexual abuse by a child in foster care. This marks the largest known recovery in Florida at the time for one child who was emotionally and sexually abused against a governmental defendant, DCF. Read more here
Florida Child Rights Cities Served:
Fort Lauderdale Injury Abuse Law Firm
Jacksonville Child Injury Law Firm
West Palm Child Injury Law Firm