Letters to the Editor

State child welfare system failing to protect youth

Keishanna Thomas makes her first appearance in court Monday at the Manatee County Jail, on a charge of aggravated child abuse related to an incident involving her 12-year-old son. 
 GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald
Keishanna Thomas makes her first appearance in court Monday at the Manatee County Jail, on a charge of aggravated child abuse related to an incident involving her 12-year-old son. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald gjefferies@bradenton.com

Until I had to deal with the Florida Department of Children and Families, I thought some of the criticism of it was unwarranted.

Now I remember someone said, "It takes a village to bring up a child." I say that because when I called I was told three times only the person receiving funds from the agency could make a complaint. Does that account for why some children die because no one in the family could "interfere?"

When a DCF family has to get food from a shelter to feed a family or not pay the rent, something is very wrong.

When a family suddenly has its monthly payment drastically reduced, without explanation, something is wrong.

When after four months they are short $1,000 of the money already taken out of the father's pay, something is wrong.

I checked with two other states. If money is missing, they asked, who investigates?

Without the money, they need how can they keep their credit clean?

Is this another violation of children's rights when their family members cannot look into how they are being cared for by the state?

Who is going to rewrite the rules of procedure for this vital department to protect the children?

Rev. Emmalou Kirchmeier

Bradenton

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