Mothers victimized by violent men told child welfare workers the truth. They expected help. Instead, they lost their children. To get their children back, they are faced with and time-consuming obstacles that often are unrelated to the allegations against them.
In defiance of widely accepted best practices, Florida aggressively removes children from parents – most of them mothers – who have been battered by an intimate partner, a USA TODAY investigation found.
DCF considers exposing children to domestic violence a form of child abuse and holds victims responsible when their kids witness it. While other states have moved away from that approach, DCF cited domestic violence as the reason it removed more than 3,500 children from biological parents in 2018, an increase of nearly 1,400 from 2013. It is the primary reason for 25% of removals this year.
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