Happy Inauguration Eve. Here we go…


Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county — how does Florida stack up? (from maximinlaw.worpress.com)

Families spend more to care for their aging parents than to raise their kids

Southern California foster and adoptive agencies reach out to LGBTQ parents


Legislative Actions


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), Conversion Therapy (HB)


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.

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

NEW: A meeting to negotiate the terms and conditions of the Circuit 1 CBC lead agency contract will be held February 1 at 9:00am in Pensacola (or possibly January 31?).

NEW: The Tampa Bay Area Refugee Task Force is meeting February 7 at 1:30. 

NEW: The Critical Incident Rapid Response Team advisory committee meets February 14 at 9:00am in Tallahassee.

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

Court Actions

NEW: The Fourth DCA issued a PCA opinion on another alien child case, this time with a dissent arguing that the presence of a caregiver is not legally equivalent to a legal custodian. The dissent would have granted the dependency.

The Florida Supreme Court has been considering the question of the dependency of alien children since it accepted jurisdiction of O.I.C.L. on October 30, 2015 (which it dismissed as moot on September 22, 2016). The related appeal of E.P.N. is still pending — 1 year, 2 months, 20 days and counting.


Reading List

  •  Mark J. Feaster Jr., Blogging and the Political Case: The Practice and Ethics of Using Social Media to Shape Public Opinion in Anticipation of High-Profile Litigation, 29 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1013 (2016)