Categories
News

George Sheldon has passed away

According to an email by Our Kids’ Director of Communications, George Sheldon passed away last night at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach. Our Kids reported back on August 6 that George had surgery. Their website has not been updated to reflect the news. Sad to learn of the news of George Sheldon’s passing today. He […]

Categories
Data

Florida’s foster care system is racially biased, too

The ACLU of Florida did a fantastic (and super data-heavy) study of racial and ethnic disparities in the Miami criminal justice system called Unequal Treatment. It’s amazing and you should check it out. The study reminded me that DCF publishes its own statistics on race, but they are buried in the Trend Report excel graveyard. […]

Categories
Data

Is my appeal taking a long time? Probably not.

Our office has been handling more appeals lately, and I am learning the rhythm of the process a little better each day. Appeals seem to go like this: (1) you lose or win at trial and feel really emotional about it, (2) you file your appeal or get noticed that someone filed one on you, […]

Categories
Case Law

Florida Supreme Court: Sorry we’ve mucked up paternity law for 75 years

The Florida Supreme Court released the long-awaited opinion in Simmonds v. Perkins, holding unanimously that the world of paternity has changed in the last 75 years and courts need to catch up. The case involves a man, Connor Perkins, who was the unquestionably biological father of a child. He raised the child with the mother, […]

Categories
News

A word to anyone considering caging a child in Florida

I am very worried that the Trump administration’s asinine efforts to defend the indefensible are going to result in normalizing caging. I can imagine some misguided person, standing in partisan solidarity, caging their own child to prove it’s no big deal. I can imagine some group home worker seeing caging on the news and thinking […]

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Etc.

We oppose family separation at the border (and everywhere else)

Our clinic has joined with 540 organizations across the country to oppose the forced separation of children and parents at the border. There is no legal, policy-based, or moral justification for harming children in an attempt to deter their parents from seeking asylum or entry into the United States. The Administration has options to keep […]

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News

A belated Foster Care Month, Tampa is still on fire, and some actually interesting appellate cases.

Here’s your periodic child welfare update. If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know at rlatham@law.miami.edu. What’s going on in child welfare world Moving and shaking. Judge Ariana Fajardo Orshan has been nominated for US Attorney in Miami. News reports have called her a “divorce court judge” and a “family court judge.” […]

Categories
News

Sometimes you just have to sue. Believe kids. The adoption intervention battles continue. Here’s some child welfare news.

The Miami Herald published a joint Op Ed by the next friends in the H.G. v. Carroll suit detailing why they (we) felt a lawsuit was both necessary and good. Kids in foster care aren’t getting what they need – that’s why we’re suing DCF. A lawsuit against Lutheran Services, Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, […]

Categories
News and Notes

The Miami lawsuit moves forward, incarcerated parents are parents, Hillsborough is on fire. Your periodic child welfare news roundup.

Here’s an update on what’s happening in child welfare. Got a tip? Send it to robertlathamesq@gmail.com.  Motion to dismiss denied. Our office, along with other child advocates, sued the Department of Children and Families on behalf of our clients who have experienced inappropriate placements and dangerously frequent placement changes. We are seeking injunctive and declaratory […]

Categories
Legislation

“One way you do not recruit volunteers is charge them a lot of money out of pocket”

The Florida House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee heard testimony on HB 57. The bill would authorize pro bono attorneys representing special needs foster children to access due process funds for costs like deposition, evaluations, and subpoenas. The bill is sponsored by Representative  Frank White of Pensacola: “One way you do not recruit volunteers is to […]