Florida

Eckerd Connects Launches Child Abuse Investigation

NS. Sheriff Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Florida, announced Thursday that a criminal investigation focused on “institutional abuse of children” has begun. Eckerd Connect

The company was contracted by the DCF to take care of children taken from homes that were considered unsafe by the state. The contract expires in December 2021.

Sheriffs said the company was neglecting to take care of the children. Throughout the last 10 years Eckerd Connects Contracted through the Children and Family Department to serve children and their families in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County.

According to sheriffs, 60-70 children are in a night-to-night condition. This means they don’t have a home arrangement and are moved to another location every night. Some of those children cannot be placed and are housed in Largo’s administration office. Sheriffs estimated that about six children would sleep in these offices overnight.

On November 1, DCF sent a letter to the head of Eckerd Connects. “Eckard’s recent actions and omissions endanger the health, safety and well-being of his dependents …” he said he would not renew his contract. I was not good at finding a stable house.

These children are reportedly sleeping in dirty-dressed cribs and do not have access to toiletries or hot meals. The Largo police have responded to the secretariat about 30 times. The sheriff went on to say he didn’t like the situation. The condition is as bad or bad as the house they are removed from.

The children were injured and one fell off the roof and cut his stomach with metal. They had to be taken to the hospital. Other claims include children who have access to unsafe medications. Some children overdose unsafe drugs.

Related: DCF and Eckerd Connects will not renew child welfare contracts in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough on the way

Sheriffs said the company has placed children in unlicensed facilities. In one example, a child had access to an unlicensed car gun that was not secured. Sheriffs also say that an individual under active investigation of felony drug trafficking was responsible for the child.

The sheriff believes the situation constitutes abuse and laziness, so he launched a criminal investigation. Primarily for the company and its senior management, but with the potential for expansion. Permanent employees have not been investigated.

There are no plans to investigate. While the state was changing servicers, sheriffs were talking to the DCF Secretary about the situation. Sheriffs claim that the full picture of the situation was revealed within last week.

See the full press conference below.



Eckerd Connects Launches Child Abuse Investigation

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