« Ties to David Rivera hurt Marco Rubio's VP chances, book says | Main | Big Sugar fliers sent to South Florida voters strike sour note with environmentalists »

Florida DCF worker tied to child death in Miami lacked credentials

By Carol Marbin Miller

The Miami child abuse investigator who resigned under pressure last May after an infant she declared “safe” was later baked to death in a sweltering car had been working for two years without required certification — a violation of state law.

Shani Smith, a Department of Children & Families child protective investigator in Miami, was accused in May of concocting the results of a substance abuse evaluation that concluded the mother of Bryan Osceola did not have a drinking problem. The mother, Catalina Marista Bruno, had been found in February passed out at the wheel of her car — after striking several buildings — with an unsecured Bryan sprawled on her lap in the front seat of the vehicle, which was still running. The Florida Highway Patrol had called DCF’s abuse hotline to report the incident.

Smith is apparently not the only DCF abuse investigator or supervisor who lacks the required certification. A department email refers to Smith as “one of the individuals” who had maintained a full investigative caseload while failing to complete the requirements for certification.

More here.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


As though faux official certification through the Florida Certification Board would have made a difference? How many of the prior DCF caseworkers who failed children had such certifications in hand?

Can't take anymore

The many returning military NCO's and junior grade officers with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan are a ready pool of folks who could quickly transition into these CPS jobs. They are trained to deal with stress, take the initiative and to quickly size up a situation of danger. Most CPS workers (I was one for HRS for nearly 10 years) need at least 3 years experience before they can work alone. They turn them out too quickly and you can see the results.

The comments to this entry are closed.