This is ludicrous
But ever so typical of Florida. The Dept of Children and Families needs to save money. How do they plan to do it? By cutting back on once a month checks on foster families by dept. caseworkers. The reason is high cost of fuel. A DCF spokesperson said this would only be a temporary measure for ninety days.
In a state where caseworkers are overworked and too many children get neglected, this should not even be considered as a cost-cutting measure. How many more Rilya Wilsons will there be before the knuckleheads in Tallahassee learn? That includes Governor Jeb Bush.
Thursday Special- Cafe Oregano
MIAMI -- To conserve gasoline, state child welfare administrators have temporarily suspended required monthly visits to nearly 50,000 children in foster care.
The requirement for caseworkers to visit foster children every month would be relaxed for 90 days ``to address the fuel and energy crisis created as a result of Hurricane Katrina's impact on the state of Florida,'' Beth Englander, director of the Department of Children & Families' Family Safety program, wrote in a Sept. 8 memo.
Caseworkers would instead be allowed to make monthly phone calls to foster parents or teachers, pediatricians or other professionals who come in contact with the children.
For high-risk children or those in unstable living arrangements, caseworkers and their supervisors should determine ``the minimum frequency of contact,'' Englander wrote.
DCF officials said Wednesday that the emergency policy would not jeopardize children in foster care.``This guidance to (private child welfare providers) was established as a temporary measure in response to fuel supply interruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina. In no way did it compromise child safety,'' spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez said. ``The department and (its contractors) remain committed to regular contact with children to ensure their safety and well-being.''
Update- Governor Bush today ordered DCF to continue monthly visits. Bureaucratic snafu or a return to common sense?