Are the Children only worth $5,000,000 after they are murdered by DCF

This article is not right on so many many levels. First are our children only worth 5,000,000 dollars? Is this the 30 pieces of silver conscienous money because DCF always fails the children? And why is Our Kids Inc not held to the same accountablity as DCF. They after all are the outsource agent for killing children. They are the ones who received, 100,000,000 dollars to steal children from the state and federal government. Yes, your tax dollars at work. If this bill passes more children will die, and be abused and once again no one is held responsible. Time to say enough!


Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 11:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 11:40 p.m.
( page all of 3 )

TALLAHASSEE | A measure that would cap damages for pain and suffering by children in Florida’s child welfare system was approved by a House committee Wednesday after impassioned testimony from both supporters and critics.

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Rep. Scott Plakon, R-­Longwood, the House sponsor, told the Health and Human Services Access subcommittee that HB 1019 would reduce “frivolous” lawsuits against agencies with state contracts to provide foster care and adoption services.

That in turn would allow the contractors to put more money toward serving children and less toward liability insurance or lawyers’ fees, said Shawn Salamida, the CEO of Partnership for Strong Families, the lead community-based care organization for 13 Northeast Florida counties.

“I’d rather take that money and hire two new caseworkers,” said Salamida.

Mike Watkins, CEO of another contractor, Big Bend Community Based Care, Inc., said his agency’s liability insurance had just been cancelled. The carrier, Watkins said, had told him to expect a 100 percent increase in premiums – and that that was low compared to hikes faced by other CBCs.

“This is probably the greatest threat to community-based care,” said Watkins.

“This is a crisis,” said Plakon, adding that the Children’s Home Society of Florida had recently received notice that its liability insurance would not be renewed.

But opponents said the measure would hurt child victims still more. They invoked the recent tragedy of Nubia and Victor Barahona, the ten-year-old twins who were victims of one of the worst-ever child abuse cases in state history. Nubia Barahona’s decomposing body was found in the back of her adoptive father’s truck on Feb. 14, even as her brother Victor convulsed from toxic chemicals in the passenger seat. He is recovering from severe burns in therapeutic foster care.

“This is really an attempt, truly, to provide legal protection for those who harm children to an extraordinary degree,” said Christina Spudeas, director of the advocacy group Florida’s Children First.

“There are kids in (foster) care that are beaten, that are raped, that are beaten and raped again, that are burned over half their bodies, that are unsupervised and left to fall in and almost drown in a pool — that require long-term, lifetime care … extensive surgeries … and mental-health help to recover,” she said.

The report of an independent panel last week charged Florida’s child welfare system with “fatal ineptitude” in the Barahona case.

“The medical bills that Victor has incurred to date are well in excess of several hundred thousand dollars already,” said Gary Farmer of the Florida Justice Association, which represents the trial bar and opposes Plakon’s bill.

“And we haven’t even talked about the emotional distress that little boy will live with all his life,” Farmer said. “Under this bill, there would be insufficient insurance to cover those lawsuits.”

Plakon’s bill would cap awards for pain and suffering at between $200,000 and $1 million and lower the amount of liability insurance the agencies must carry from $1 million to $500,000.

Economic damages would be capped at $2 million. The measure would also protect the Florida Department of Children and Families, which has sovereign immunity, from lawsuits against its subcontractors, which don’t.

“There’s been an issue of late of multiple parties being listed in these lawsuits trying to sort of drag DCF back into the equation,” Plakon said, “when all they did was, in good faith, appoint that contract to that community-based care agency.”

Salamida said his agency had had no lawsuits during its first four years, but in the last two years has had three, with a possible fourth lawsuit “on deck.”

“Sometimes it’s confusing who does what within our system,” Salamida said. “So what we’re seeing is that when something tragic or bad happens to a child, everyone that’s attached to the case gets named. And the process of going through and sorting out who did what is very time-consuming and costly.”

Farmer also pointed to a supporter of the bill, Our Kids, Inc., the community-based care organization in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties that handled Nubia and Victor Barahona’s adoptions. Farmer said Our Kids had gross revenues of $101 million in 2008, while its CEO, Frances Allegra, earns more than $200,000 with bonuses. Half a dozen other members of the agency’s executive team have salaries hovering around $100,000, Farmer said.

Allegra responded with a statement.

“We are a private, non-profit tasked with running one of the largest, most complex systems in Florida. Our board of community business leaders demand high performance and expect excellence,” she said. “Our responsibilities were previously performed by a state employee with a benefits package offering significantly more paid time off, better health benefits and a pension. In addition, we execute our duties, that were previously a state function, using significantly less staff. In return, we expect high performance.”

Our Kids would be protected under Plakon’s bill, which cleared the committee on an 11-4 vote.

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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2 Responses to Are the Children only worth $5,000,000 after they are murdered by DCF

  1. Aaron Slaughter&Nicole HUtchinson says:

    IF anyone can contact us on help on getting legal advice and help we have 2 lovely babies in this corupt system and are getting no were our state appointed lawyer tells us this aint nothing but a black market for pelplo to buy our kids we fell that so many of our rights have been violated aready along whith our babies we need help so bad our babies need help they cry and beg to come home they ask us when they are comeing home we tell them soon we doing all we have to then a door opens and in walks one of the workers and says you cant tell them that you dont no that or when they come home we better not here you tellem that agin theres times my daughter comes in and says and ask me things this is my 5yr old telling me things and or problems then i get in trouble and am told am interagating my kid when am not asking her shes confineing in me then when i address her problems the say things to her and put bs in her head and is now scared to ask or tell me things for she will get into trouble if she does so ……. am sorry but there are alot of pelplo out there that get there kids takein away and there takeing the wrong ones not that i wish this on knowone but there are bad pelplo out there that do neglect the kids ….. … well if anyone could contack us at aaron and nicole thank you


    • yvonnemason says:

      Nichole change public defenders if he won’t work for you. If he just doesn’t know how to fight show him this blog. It is full of information that will help him in court. Keep a journal record the meetins with your children and the caseworkers. Stand up to the caseworkers. Don’t let them bully you. That is their method of operation. They use that to keep the parent in line. Fight back. When they tell you that you can’t talk about them coming home make the case worker prove it legally it. They can’t. Read this blog print off anything you need. Exercise your constitutional rights. Find parents in your county that are going through the same thing. All of you read this blog learn it and make your attorney use it. If he won’t make them give you another one who will fight for you and your children


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