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01/27/12
Florida’s Keeping Children Safe Act Gets Some Guidance
Filed under: General
Posted by: RPLaw Firm @ 2:26 pm

In 2007, a  Florida law called “Keeping Children Safe Act” was enacted to of course keep children safe from sexual abuse- real or potential.  However, the law was written so vague and broad that gave the Department of Children and Families such an easy card to play on any adult that might have had sexual allegations against him/her.  DCF would use this law even if the charges were dropped, unfounded, or even dismissed by a court.  However, a ruling was just released that a “trial court departed from essential requirements of law in entering order under
Keeping Children Safe Act that prohibits a grandfather from contact with his
two-year-old grandson on ground that  the grandfather was convicted of misdemeanor molestation
of his ten-year-old daughter more than twenty years earlier when he was still
abusing drugs and alcohol. However now, where this child has been living with his grandparents
since he was five months old because his parents were abusing drugs, and
the grandfather has been drug-free and sober for more than twenty years.  Here the grandparents filed a private termination of parental rights petition and
subsequently filed private dependency petition, grandparents are parties who
have standing to challenge order.  The Order at issue held that it required that grandparents live
apart if they desire for grandmother to retain temporary custody of grandchild
results in injury that cannot be remedied on postjudgment appeal — Keeping
Children Safe Act applies only to sexually abused or exploited child, and does
not apply to child who has never been sexually abused.

While the facts are not pretty, this child knows his grandfather.  The grandfather’s past incident was over twenty years ago, should not stop and break a family, if the family has forgiven him.



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