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Florida's failures highlight need to improve child safety

It's encouraging to learn that the Department of Children and Families will hold a summit Friday at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County to help launch a child safety campaign.

In a gripping series, the Miami Herald reported last week that 477 Florida children died in six years due to abuse or neglect — even after the state checked on their well-being at least once.

The summit will focus on three leading causes of death: drowning, unsafe sleep and abusive head trauma. Lack of outrage could be a fourth cause. The series should prompt everyone to write their state representatives and the governor about better DCF funding and greater accountability. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Being A Child Shouldn't Hurt. …

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Kids Charity of Tampa Bay will unmask the face of child abuse with a masquerade ball on April 4. Joshua House holds its Child Abuse Awareness Luncheon April 11.

Other nonprofits caring for neglected kids need support. Step up. If not you, then who? …

Lucie Malinski, early childhood consultant with Directions For Living, was one of four people honored at the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board's Cooperman-Bogue KidsFirst Awards last week. Malinski shared in a video that when one of the kids she assisted said she wouldn't remember him, she told him, "When I'm an old lady and I'm sitting in my rocking chair and I look in my heart, I'll find you there."

Kudos to all four winners: Malinski, Scott Smith and Lindsay Parete with Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services and Summer Perez of the Suncoast Center. They're all keeping kids in their hearts.

That's all I'm saying.

Florida's failures highlight need to improve child safety 03/23/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2014 7:18pm]
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