Florida DCF Adopts LGBTQ Group Home Protections on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a yearly memorial to transgender people who lost their lives to violence. Reports of homicides of transgender people have increased over the last years as families and friends of trans victims refuse to allow their identities to be erased. This year in Florida we remember with sadness India Clarke from Tampa, Vanessa Santillan from Miami, and Kristina Reinwald from Miami.

It is therefore deeply meaningful that today the Florida Department of Children & Families published its latest draft of group home rules incorporating protections for trans and gay youth, so that foster youth in group care can live openly, safely, and without discrimination or fear in their own homes. The rules are the result of hard work and dedication by the LGBTQ Child Welfare Network, a group of advocates and good people at DCF and other agencies who are standing up for LGBTQ youth across the state.

If you would like to join the LGBTQ Child Welfare Network and get more information on advocacy efforts for Florida’s LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care, you can do so by clicking here.

Case law update: TPR for medical neglect of child resulting in AIDS; adoption subsidy doesn’t offset child support

The Fifth DCA addresses the question of whether an adoption subsidy can be used to reduce child support obligations. Short answer: no. Tluzek v. Tluzek, — So.3d —- (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

The Fourth DCA affirms what appears to be an expedited termination of parental rights for medical neglect resulting in a child developing AIDS. C.S. v. DCF, — So.3d. —- (Fla. 3rd DCA 2015).

Florida Supreme Court accepts two dependency cases for review

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court accepted two dependency cases for review. I’ll write more on both later, but here is a quick overview:

The first is O.I.C.L. v. Florida Department of Children and Families. This case involves a circuit split in how immigrant children are adjudicated dependent. Briefing should be complete by December 7, and oral argument will be February 2, 2016. The district court opinion is here.

The second is M.M. v. Florida Department of Children and Families. This case involves the ability of the court to close a case while limiting the visitation rights of a non-custodial parent. Briefing is due by December 8, 2015 and no oral argument is set.  The district court opinion is here.