Florida DCF Contacts Us, Opens Dialogue on Problems Fathers Face in Child Welfare System
This week, Fathers & Families and I launched a campaign in defense of Rafael Izquierdo, the embattled father in the "Elian Gonzalez II" case in Miami. In that case, Izquierdo, who a Florida court found to be a fit, committed father, is fighting the Florida Department of Children & Families' long, expensive, and highly-publicized effort to keep his five-year-old girl in foster care. To participate or to learn more about the campaign, click here. Our campaign asked Florida DCF to contact Ned Holstein, MD, MS, president of Fathers & Families, to discuss how procedures can be changed to help ensure that in future cases, assiduous efforts are made to reunite children with their fit noncustodial parents. To DCF's credit, Patricia Badland, Director of DCF's Children and Families Family Service Program, has contacted Dr. Holstein and opened a dialogue. Badland is a member of DCF's newly-formed Task Force on Child Protection. Florida's Award for "Excellence in Child Welfare" has been known as the "Patricia Badland Award." To learn more about the "Elian Gonzalez II" case, visit our campaign page here.