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Florida leads the nation in number of children who've died despite state inquiry

The details of Nubia Barahona’s death are grisly: Soaked in toxic chemicals, decomposed and stuffed in a garbage bag, she was found rotting on the shoulder of the interstate on Valentines Day. Authorities believe she had been stashed in a septic tank for weeks before her adoptive father dug up her corpse.

Statistically, however, Nubia’s story is rather common: She is one of hundreds of Florida children who died of abuse or neglect during the last decade after child welfare authorities had performed at least one investigation into their welfare. Florida not only leads the United States in the number of such deaths, it dominates the nation.

In the wake of a controversial decision by child welfare administrators to halve the number of children taken into state care — while, at the same time, reducing the number of children receiving protective services with their birth families — the number of deceased children with a child protection investigative history almost doubled, from 35 in 2001 to 69 in 2009. No statistics are available for 2010. Read more here.

-- Carol Marbin

Comments

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Nascar Dad

With all due respect to the children involved here, who did not deserve the fate they were handed, the state last year spent $3 billion dollars on DCF. That doesn't count the resources spent at the local level. Yet, with over 13,000 employees at DCF, again not counting the thousands at the local level, our government fails once again. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it's not government assistance.

Charlie Right

Nascar Dad. Your are right the answer isn't government assistance. The answer is government being responsible for its actions. We have a DCF that is more interested in advancing political agendas than protecting children. Think I'm kidding? DCF utterly failed protecting two young boys from years of being raised in a gay life style. The vast majority of which are short term, include multiple partners, and virtually never last more than 12 years. Does that sound like a good environment to raise kids? Supposedly DCF could find no heterosexual couple in the entire state of Florida willing to adopt a four old boy and his infant brother. What a disgrace for them to ignore other fully qualifed familes. Instead, they place these two unfortunate kids with gay foster parents so they get emotionally attached to them. Sorry, gay people have no business raising kids! These kids will have two fathers, but never have a mother. Sorry, kids should have one of each, but never two of the same at the same time. Is that in the best interest of a child? Why did DCF do this? To advance the gay agenda to find a liberal judge (surprise they did!) to declare Florida's ban on gay adoption unconstitutional when the gay foster parents challenged the law seeking to adopt. Now, a judge decided gays can adopt. Bill McCullom failed to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court. If this doesn't show DCF is more concerned with liberal politics than acting in the best interest of children I don't know what does. They should be ashamed, for exploiting these kids and using them as guinea pigs in their irresponsible social experiment. Don't think for one minute these kids risk to HIV hasn't just skyrocketed. Are they going to grow up gay, heterosexual or confused? Time will tell, at the expense of the kids - again. DCF sees these kids in impossible situaitons and fail time and again. Blindly making a decision to reduce the number of children in state care arbtirarily by half, (without no regard whatsoever with the kids actual needs) is par for the course. DCF gets a big fat F-.

peanut

I hate to tell you that is not that much money spread over the entire state of Florida. We are a transient state and attact runaways, drug addicts, etc. I cannot believe the public is letting this go. No one seems to care except to blame the poor sucker who was dumb enough to try to do a thankless job for little pay. Of course, if they admit that the state is responsible, then they would have to throw some money at it. not paying taxes is much more important than a kid's death. And with the turning over Medicaid to for profit companies, many more children and adults will die, so might as well get used to it now.

peanut

Please tell me Charlie Right did not compare the gay couple raising beloved children to that sick, disgusting family who put the body of a child in a septic tank. I hope he isn't having any contact with children with his hateful attitude.

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