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“Many children entering nursing facilities in the state are unnecessarily separated from their families and communities for years.” This was according to the Assistant Attorney General for Florida. This official felt that support and services could do a better job of allowing for these children to remain at home with their families.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Florida’s care for the disabled needs to be conducted in the “least-restrictive” manner and setting. Yet the Department of Justice has found a number of nursing homes were Florida children are placed lacking any connection with the child’s family.

It is because such charges have been made that three Florida agencies have announced measures to help these children out. The care plan that has been adopted by the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health, and the Department of Children and Families is working with Medicaid administrators to work with parents and to find out what would be best for the child.

Obviously, this situation involves a variety of interpretations of state and federal laws. There are continual questions as to whether Florida has been in violation of the ADA by placing so much space between the parents and their children with special needs.

These children deserve every advantage that can be presented to them. Born with disabilities, it would worsen their circumstances to deprive them of the company of their parents.

For parents having concerns about not being able to visit with their children for any reason, consultation with an experienced family law attorney would likely be beneficial. These attorneys understand how both state and federal laws should be applied, and will also make every effort to make certain that the best interests of the child are met.

Source: News-Press, “Florida agencies tout enhanced care for medically fragile children,” by Margie Menzel, Jan. 10, 2013

  • Please see our Fort Lauderdale law firm’s webpage for your questions regarding visitation and parenting plans.