Youth Services Law

Showing 17 posts in Miscellaneous.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming...

Posted In Miscellaneous

to link to an article about my recent trial win. I will be back on Monday after the holidays with more in the mandated reporters series.

How Many Psychotropic Drugs are Too Many

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The Daytona Beach News-Journal has an excellent article about Florida's review of its policy regarding the prescription of psychotropic drugs for children in foster care. It notes the side effects of such drugs, such as depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as the difficulty of knowing how to best help children who cannot seem to control their behavior without medication.

Hat tip: Florida Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Lots of reasons (or maybe just excuses)

Posted In Miscellaneous

I have a variety of reasons for taking such a long break, some very pleasant (a new grandchild), some not-so-pleasant (swine flu working its way through the family), and some rather dull and ordinary (lots of new projects at work).  I hope I'm back for a while now. 

Why We Can't Forget

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I enjoy posting funny stories on Fridays, to end the week on a humorous note. Today, though, is a day for remembering. I like this cartoon's reminder of why we can't forget 9-11.

Well, That Was Inevitable

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CBS News reports that the Pennsylvania day camp that was excluded from a local swim club plans to file suit, alleging racial discrimination.  I do not know enough about the facts to comment on the case, but there should be some intriguing issues about the responsibility of a corporate body for the comments of individual members.  

Camille Paglia offers an interesting perspective that might make the case relevant to more camps and day care centers that I realized at first.  She speculates that the real issue may have been, not race, but income disparities:  "Urban working-class and suburban middle-class children often have quite different styles of play -- as I know from present observation as well as from my Syracuse youth, when I regularly biked to the public pool in Thornden Park. . . .  Were the mothers who pulled their kids out of the pool that day really reacting to skin color or what they, accurately or not, perceived to be an overcrowded, dangerous disorder?"

Again, I do not know the facts in this particular case, but there is no doubt that children's differing styles of play always pose a challenge for youth organizations.    It's another of those choose-your-poison dilemmas.  Watching a child too closely will garner complaints that you are picking on him or her.  But if you do not watch closely enough, you will get complaints that you allow bullying.  It's a tough balance, and there never are any good answers except in hindsight.

Checking on Social Workers

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The Florida Department of Children and Families is experimenting with new technology that will require caseworkers to use GPS-like devices to check in every time they visit with a child on their case load.  The move is in response to an incident in which a case worker lied about checking on a child, who has disappeared from the system and is presumed dead. 

Color me unimpressed. The article describing the new technology notes that case workers caught falsifying records "repeatedly complained they had been assigned too many children to watch."  It would be easy to dismiss those complaints, except that studies of social services systems routinely find that case workers are struggling with high caseloads.  This federal survey, for example, found that case workers in Union County, Florida, have caseloads three times the number considered optimal.

Technology cannot create more hours in a day.  I understand that state budgets are hurting, and I am generally a fiscal conservative.  But there are some things that government has to do, and taking care of children when families cannot is one of those things.   Until state legislators start putting enough money in budgets to hire an adequate number of case workers, there is no amount or kind of technology that can prevent these sort of tragedies.

She's Ba-ack

Posted In Miscellaneous

I'm finally able to pay attention to my blog again, and apologize for letting it lapse for so long. It started with a wonderful family trip to England, where husband showed the two teenage boys all the places where he grew up. It was one of those trips of a lifetime that we'll never forget, but it took up most of June, and then I came back to a very long list of things to do to catch up.  

Traveling again

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I haven't blogged lately, and won't be blogging for the next few weeks, because I will be traveling on a family vacation through June 17. Then, I'll be speaking at the APSAC Colloquium in Atlanta. If you're planning to be there, drop me an email. I would love to make connections or talk again to old friends.

She's Ba-ack

Posted In Miscellaneous

I'm finally back.  The trial and keeping caught up afterwards took longer than I expected.  The trial went well, but it was a bench trial, so we do not have a verdict yet.  It was an enjoyable trial, with civil opponents, good witnesses, and great clients.  Law practice just doesn't get much better than that. 

Distracted by Work

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I am in trial this week, so probably will not be posting much. I'll be back as soon as I can.

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