Department of Children and Families Case Worker Accused of Falsifying Documents
The Florida Department of Children and Families is the state agency charged with the responsibility of protecting abused and neglected children, elderly, and the disabled. We often hear stories about DCF investigations involving child abuse or neglect, and
how these children are taken away from their homes for fear of their
safety or even their lives. As a community, we put our trust and faith
into this organization to protect children from perilous situations.
Unfortunately, the Florida DCF is receiving some heat as a case worker has been accused of falsifying documents and not fulfilling her duties.
DCF Under Investiagtion
According to WPTV News, Maria Clacher, 49, a case manager working for a state DCF subcontractor was arrested Monday on a felony charge. She has been accused of falsifying records relating to children under her care after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation.
Case managers for DCF are supposed to make face-to-face contact at least once every 30 days with the care giver and the child. A form must be filled out and a photograph must be taken of the child. According to an official and statements in a complaint affidavit supporting Clacher’s arrest, Clacher falsified at least 13 visits for five families between Oct. 2010 – June 2011.
According to WPTV, investigators were told Clacher was difficult to get in touch with, rarely or never took photographs and also rarely performed home visits. They also pointed out inaccuracies in case notes. Clacher was terminated in June 2011 for falsifying her visits. When confronted about the issues, she simply said she can’t remember, according to WPTV.
Children who are taken from their homes and placed in one of the 19,000 foster homes that the DCF are responsible for should feel safe and well cared for. Having a case manager who disregarded her duties not only affected the organization but the children that were depending on her supervision to keep them safe. If you have been accused of child abuse or child neglect, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. There is a strong chance you could lose your child.