• Month 3: Only a crisis if you thought 2010 was awful

    The May numbers are out and they begin to show how the pandemic is affecting things later in the pipeline from investigation to removal. Remember that investigations take about 60 days from intake. Intakes were down 6% in March and 16% in April from their expected numbers based on historical trends. Closures on investigations in […]

  • A starter reading list on how child welfare policies harm Black people, families, and communities

    The child welfare system has nothing to say about anti-Black state violence because the child removal system engages in it daily.

  • The April Data Is Out

    Calls & removals are down, but everything else is pretty normal.

  • No qualified immunity for baseless investigations & safety plans in the Sixth Circuit

    When you’re being investigated for a crime, you have rights. You have the right to remain silent, and the right against unreasonable search and seizure of your property. If you are arrested, you have the right to an attorney, a trial where you can confront the witnesses against you, and afterwards the right to an […]

  • Man has rights to children terminated for being on Miami time

    Unfortunately, his case was in Broward.

  • Third DCA bans preemptive surrenders

    The Third District Court of Appeal in Florida issued a surprising opinion last week in D.M. v. Department of Children & Families. The case involved a child born in 2007. The Mother signed a surrender of her rights in 2010, but no TPR was ever entered. The child was eventually placed back with her. Ten […]

  • What happened in March?

    Florida DCF abuse intakes were down 17% in March. We have no idea what we will see in April.

  • Miami Courts: Closed

    The 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida issued an order this afternoon shutting things down. https://www.jud11.flcourts.org/Court-Announcements/ArtMID/584/ArticleID/3442/COVID-19-Advisory-8-Administrative-Order-20-03-Cancels-All-Non-Emergency-Proceedings-Except-Mission-Critical-Court-Matters-for-March-17-27-2020 _______________________________ ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 20-03 CANCELS ALL NON-EMERGENCY PROCEEDINGS EXCEPT MISSION-CRITICAL COURT MATTERS FOR MARCH 17-27, 2020 The Honorable Bertila Soto, Chief Judge of the Miami-Dade Courts, today issued Administrative Order 20-03, cancelling all non-emergency court proceedings, except mission-critical court matters, for […]

  • 54 pages about 49 kids: The children who refused placement in Hillsborough County

    Back in August, an ad hoc committee of the juvenile justice board in Hillsborough issued a lengthy report on the state of placement instability in their circuit. The report diagnosed the phenomenon of children refusing placement as a major source of that instability. The committee concluded that “children under the care and custody of Florida’s […]

  • Billion Dollar Babies

    I sat on this post until after National Adoption Month because it seemed like the polite thing to do and because I didn’t have time to finish it until now. It’s about adoption. Not whether adoption is good or bad. My feelings about adoption are whatever my client’s feelings are — and it should be […]

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