The Barahona Case Findings and Recommendations

March 14, 2011

It is apparent that significant gaps and failure in common sense, critical thinking, ownership, follow-through and timely and accurate information sharing defined the care of Victor and Nubia Barahona from the very beginning of their relationship with our state child welfare system. This systematic failure includes the investigative and case management processes as well as the pre- and post-adoption processes. The collective wisdom of all professionals who played a role in making decisions about the physical and emotional wellbeing of Victor and Nubia never coalesced into an effective focus. Nubia Barahona was found dead in a truck parked off of I-95 in Palm Beach County on February 14, 2011 and her brother, Victor, was in critical condition. Both children had been exposed to inhumane treatment and their adoptive parents have been charged with Nubia’s murder and multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect as to both children.

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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