Newsroom

Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott
Governor

David E. Wilkins
Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Carrie Hoeppner
DCF Central Region Communications
Direct Line: 407-317-7056
Cell 407-264-1379
DCF Titusville Update: Shelter Review Hearing

Update: 1 p.m. Central Florida, 3.20.2012

This morning the 18th Judicial Circuit Court ordered that the children removed from a Titusville home on Thursday, March 15, will remain in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. The father of the younger two children and the mother of the oldest child were both in attendance. They were transported by jail officials. The parents did not contest the allegations of child abuse brought against them during the emergency custody hearing.

The Department has located the father of the eldest child and is working to help re-establish a relationship between the pair. The agency continues to make efforts to locate the biological mother of the two youngest children. At this time, focus remains on the health and well-being of the children, particularly the 12-year-old who celebrates his 13th birthday this Thursday. He remains under physician's care.

The court ordered that the children will remain in protective custody. There was no change in placement today.

The Department has elected to pursue expedited termination of parental rights as to the youngest children.

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Central Florida - 3.19.2012 – There will be a shelter review hearing (custody hearing) in the case of three children who were removed from a Titusville home Thursday, March 15. The 18th Judicial Circuit originally held a shelter hearing on Friday, March 16, ordering the children into protective custody. They were subsequently placed together with relatives. A shelter review hearing was ordered after the parents were unable to attend the initial Friday hearing given their incarceration. They are expected to be transported to the hearing by jail officials. The hearing is scheduled for 8:30am in Viera, Florida.

The Department has witnessed an outpouring of generosity from the community in an effort to support the 12-year-old victim in this case. Contributions have ranged from an array of toys, gifts, and clothing. Brevard Family Partnership, the agency who provides foster care and adoptive related services in Brevard County for the Department, has established a link on their website for those who wish to make a donation. Right now, they are encouraging monetary donations for a trust fund established in his name or gift cards so that the child may participate in the purchase of those belongings he needs or wants. Anyone interested in making a contribution can visit http://www.brevardfp.org/.

The Department continues to work in partnership with medical and mental health professionals to ensure the best quality of care for these children. The 12-year-old physical condition is being monitored by a physician with plans to engage a nutritionist as he continues to safely gain weight.

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