Have fun at the summit!
To everyone traveling to the DCF Summit today, be safe. I have a couple of long posts coming out, so you’ll have something to pretend to read by the pool. Have a wonderful time!
News & Notes
I haven’t done a news and notes in a while, but I’ve read so many good child welfare related things lately that I wanted to share them. Here we go.
Update: the GAL Program isn’t being investigated by the Bar, and DCF is not cutting off kids in jail
Two pieces of news that I haven’t had time to post about.
A Reluctant Post About the Guardian ad Litem Program: Its Ethics, Efficacy, & Future
The Guardian ad Litem Program started as a scrappy community of advocates and gadflies who sought to bring attention and change to the dependency system. It is now a state agency that’s been appropriated over $600 million in the last 15 years. There has never been a comprehensive study to determine whether the Program accomplishes its goal of improving the lives of foster children. I looked at the Program’s performance numbers, first out of irritation, then curiosity, and ultimately the realization that we need more fact-based information about the “Second DCF” to answer the core questions surrounding its continued funding and structure. The questions explored here are whether the GAL Program is ethical, effective, and good for children? The answer to all three questions, it turns out, is the same.
Plotting Permanency: Using the public FSFN database to explore exit patterns in Florida foster care
This post introduces a new public FSFN dashboard on permanency timing in Florida’s child welfare system. If you want to just play with the dashboard, you can find it here. All but one of the graphics in this post come from the dashboard. Every year, in legislatures across the country, well-meaning people propose bills to […]
I made a “Yelp for Child Welfare” Because We Need to Know More (Not Less) About Foster Care Providers
This post introduces a new public FSFN dashboard: the Placement Provider Info Dashboard. If you want to jump straight there, feel free. You should click the fullscreen button in the bottom right corner. Below is the why and how of it. There is a well-meaning bill working through the legislature that would exempt the names […]
This is not okay – Visualizing foster care placement instability
Christopher O’Donnell and Nathaniel Lash at the Tampa Bay Times recently published an outstanding investigative piece on the harmful number of placement changes some kids experience while in foster care. They write: Foster care is intended to be a temporary safety net for children at risk of neglect and abuse at home. Those children, many […]
Only 67 kids have been removed on Christmas Day in Florida (since 2007)
A video of a child being forcibly removed from his mother has been in the news lately. It’s brutal to watch. A group of police officers and security guards yank at the one-year-old while another swings a taser wildly around the room at anyone who gets too close. The woman is on the floor. Her […]
How long do Florida appeals take?
The First DCA published statistics on its caseloads and decisions. But notably (as appellate judges like to say), the length of time they take to resolve cases was not reported. It motivated me to update the How Long do Appeals Take tableau. The answer? Probably 120 to 170 days for a Dependency case, 260 to […]
Florida child welfare case law bonus post!
The Florida Supreme Court issued a child welfare opinion, so it seemed like a good time to do a case law review. Here we go… What guardians ad litem don’t do The Florida Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the appointment of a guardian ad litem on a dependency case tolled the statute of […]
Got any book recommendations or things you want to read about?