Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

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.

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