Story sidebar: Child abuse investigation of the Barahona twins: DCF's "ugly past"
Interactive timeline of the abuse and neglect Nubia and Victor Barahona faced since birth, as told through DCF records and Palm Beach Post investigative reports.
By Ana M. Valdes
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Posted: 5:47 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2011
WEST PALM BEACH — Leaders of the private agency once charged with ensuring Nubia Barahona was safe with her adoptive family - before the girl was fatally beaten and later burned by her parents - say Nubia's death has led to significant changes that could help case workers detect threats to other foster children.
"This case has caused a shift in (case workers') thinking. - 'Are these foster parents the good people? Do they want to adopt for good reasons?'" said Our Kids CEO Frances Allegra, who recently co-authored a 10-page plan to improve its case management in response to the death.
The final version of the plan was approved by Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins last week.
Among some changes already in place at Our Kids, Allegra told The Palm Beach Post editorial board, are requiring that each case worker use a 10-point questionnaire to assess risk factors in a foster home, and training them to more effectively use DCF records to learn about past abuse or neglect of a child.
"It's a hard thing, because it means more work for (case workers.) But it helps them because it's not just their gut," Allegra said.
After Nubia's body was found in the back of her adoptive father's pickup truck in West Palm Beach Feb. 14, an investigative panel blasted Our Kids for "inadequate case management practices." FULL STORY
Yeah well, they fixed it after the Rylia Wilson case years ago too.