January 01, 2001

By Michael T. Dolce*

Nova Law Review. Volume 25, Issue 3. 2001. Article 2.

“History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.”

~ Maya Angelou excerpted from, On the Pulse of Morning

I. A Typical Day

Everyday in Florida children are placed in foster care because of suspected abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents. The intent is to protect, nurture, and restore these children, while either helping their families become healthy and safe for reunification or, where that is not possible or safe, placing the children with new permanent families. However, on any given day the very system intended to protect these children will neglect or abuse many of them, emotionally and physically. On any given day, Florida's foster children will have the following types of experiences:

       1. A child will go to bed curled up in anguish because yet another day went by, more than thirty now, in which he has not seen
           his mother. A court-approved case plan, written by the Department of Children and Families ("DCF' or "Department"),
           dictates that mom be at work during all of the hours that supervised visitation is offered. For the same reason, another
           foster child hardly knows her mom and dad because she has seen them only a handful of times in the last three years.
           Knowing this, today her parents will give up and surrender their parental rights without a trial;

 The full study can be read here.

* Copyright © 2001 by the authors. Nova Law Review is produced by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress).