Win for at-risk kids (Letter to the Editor)

Win for at-risk kids


Under the legislation, $4.5 million will be provided to help ensure attorneys skilled in administrative and juvenile court proceedings, including attorneys from Florida’s Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, are secured to represent children in these dependency cases.

The implications of non-representation were clear for these children, who often suffer medical or developmental disabilities. The DCF or other agencies, including the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Social Security Administration, had seasoned attorneys representing their sides in matters of applications for and denials of benefits, education or placement.

Meanwhile, unrepresented children often languished in state custody and programs long after their peers have been placed with permanent families.

The bill, which still awaits Gov. Scott’s signature, is a tremendous win. Among the leaders who helped advance this cause and secure the bill’s passage was Senator Robert Bradley (R-Orange Park). Well before this session began, Sen. Bradley had proven himself tol be a tireless advocate for Florida’s most vulnerable citizens.

He and his fellow legislators, including Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) and Representative Erik Fresen (R-Miami), stand today as shining examples of the positive impact of dedicated child advocates.

Gloria W. Fletcher, vice president, Florida’s Children First, Gainesville

Read more here


Share this article:


Related Posts

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.

Skip to content