I’m beginning a new type of post for the legislative session where I dump everything I read into one box and hit publish. This first one is a little long because it’s a product of my backlogged inbox. My consistency will depend entirely on my level of free time. The Spring semester starts tomorrow…

News updates

Human trafficking cases increase 50 percent in Florida

Lawmakers worry public assistance rates aren’t dropping with unemployment

Legislative Actions

The Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs is scheduled to meet Monday, January 23 at 4:00-6:00. Current noticed topics include SB 60 on foster children obtaining driver licenses, Evaluation of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Opioid Overdoses and Substance-exposed Newborns.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services is scheduled to meet Wednesday January 25 at 2:00-4:00. Current noticed topics include Overview of Base Budget for 2017-18, and Review of Local Funding Initiatives.

How will the Obamacare battle affect foster kids? CLASP lists the Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from ACA Repeal and Proposals to Alter Medicaid.

Bills on a committee agenda: Children Obtaining Driver Licenses (HB / SB), Juvenile Justice (SB)

Bills filed: Mandatory Retention (HB), Students Remaining on School Grounds During School Hours (SB / HB), Proceedings Involving Minors or Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (HB), Temporary Respite Care of a Child (SB), Public School Attendance Policies (HB)

Trainings and Conferences


USCIS is conducting a training on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in West Palm Beach on January 24 9:30-11:00am. If you’re interested in going, contact Maryam Kassaee at Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach.

SAMHSA’s Division of Policy Innovation is putting on a webinar January 26 on Improving Health Outcomes for LGBTQI2-S Youth of Color, which will look at the health implications of identity intersectionality and trauma. Participants include Jerry Peterson of the Ruth Ellis Center, Jackie Malstron a Youth Engagement Specialist with the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Laurin Mayeno, a cultural competency and inclusion expert.

Proposals for the GAL Program’s 2017 Disabilities Training Conference are due January 31.

Proposals for the 2017 Child Protection Summit are due February 15.

DCF Administrative Actions

DCF is currently reviewing its rules on Foster Care Licensing, Psychotropic Medication, Suitability Assessments, Child Care Standards, Alien Children, and the Adoption Reunion Registry.

DCF recently repealed rule 65C-31.002 on Case Management for Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care, which dealt with RTI and ETV issues. The rule was subject to a challenge petition filed by the Children & Youth Law Clinic.

DCF recently finalized its rule on Child Fatalities.

Court Actions

The Third DCA withdrew a previous opinion that suggested that parents have a Confrontation right in dependency proceedings. The amended opinion clarifies that there is no right to confrontation in civil matters.

The GAL Program successfully appealed the denial of a TPR.

Reading List

  • Sally Terry Green, The Law Demands Process for Rehomed Children, 69 Ark. L. Rev. 729 (2017)
  • Maxine Eichner (FNd1), Bad Medicine: Parents, the State, and the Charge of “Medical Child Abuse”, 50 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 205 (2016)
  • Vered Ben-David, Court Considerations in the Termination of Parental Rights: A Comprehensive Analysis of Israeli Court Decisions, 54 Fam. Ct. Rev. 591 (2016)
  • Allison E. Korn, Detoxing the Child Welfare System, 23 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 293 (2016)
  • David Pimentel, Protecting the Free-Range Kid: Recalibrating Parents’ Rights and the Best Interest of the Child, 38 Cardozo L. Rev. 1 (2016)
  • Astraea Augsberger et. al., “I Didn’t Know You Were Fighting So Hard for Me”: Attorneys’ Perceptions of Youth Participation in Child Dependency Proceedings, 54 Fam. Ct. Rev. 578 (2016)
  • Kara R. Finck, Applying the Principles of Rebellious Lawyering to Envision Family Defense, 23 Clinical L. Rev. 83 (2016)
  • Jacqueline Mabatah, Blaming the Victim? The Intersections of Race, Domestic Violence, and Child Neglect Laws, 8 Geo. J.L. & Mod. Critical Race Persp. 355 (2016)
  • Albert Kauffman, Effective Litigation Strategies to Improve State Education and Social Service Systems, 45 J.L. & Educ. 453 (2016)