This Governor really got on my nerves yesterday. Because here is where the Governor really yanked my chain. Here is what some of yesterday's press release looked like to the public...
"The funding we are announcing today will help us better coordinate care across our state and give us the necessary tools to work toward stopping child abuse. As a father and a grandfather, I take the the safety of our children very seriously. While we have made significant steps forward, the reality is even one victim of child abuse is one too many."
Uh huh. 'Significant steps forward'. Really.
Florida has some of the worst numbers in this country when it comes to child deaths. 394 children have died so far this year in this state.
82% were 3 and under. 27% had prior involvement with DCF with a deceased child. That's 105 childrens' lives. Now gone. That should still be alive today.
15 of those children were under the supervision of DCF. That's a 100% guarantee that at least 1 child a month will die next year under DCF supervision in this state.
And that's the Governor's definition of 'significant steps forward'?
And just last week in Sarasota County, an 11-year old was found dead in a locked freezer. With a 2-year old in the house. Under a current investigation by DCF. And a mother with an abuse history with DCF that spanned 15 years.
And no one had seen that girl in over a year. Should have been prevented.
Again, just last week, that 1-yr old baby who was found dead in Miami Beach. DCF investigated that baby living with his parents on a freaking boat. And DCF refused to address that high-risk situation appropriately. Closed its case. And walked away.
Should have been prevented. But that's the Governor's definition of "significant steps forward".
Those kinds of stories goes on and on. Yet this state continues to pour money into this failing approach. $31 million added last year. $22 million being added this year.
And nothing changes. Nobody with a pair stands up. With a spine. With some intestinal fortitude. And says this isn't working. We have to do something different. We have to do the right thing.
32 child deaths just this month. 88% were 5 and under. The latest was a 4 yr old who found dead in the his grandmother's swimming pool after he snuck out undetected.
We are doing a horrific job in keeping our children safe in Florida. It is a child welfare atrocity. And for the state legislature to continue blindly appropriating additional funding year after year is irresponsible. Without questioning its legitimacy. Its appropriateness.
And whether or not more alternative approaches & initiatives on local levels would accomplish the needed changes for the children of this state is reckless.
Period. So keep it up, state legislature. When I start calling your feckless selves out by name, you'll pick up my report then.
And for the love of Peter, Isaac Hayes and Sista Soulja. Grow a pair. If you can't grow a set, steal a pair. Find your spine. Put an APB out on your guts. And man up. It's time to man up.
And do the right thing. Thank you, Spike Lee.
I'm done. For now.