As the most vulnerable and dependent among us, children under three years of age deserve and require a safe home environment. This is why many professionals, including doctors, teachers and therapists, are mandated as reporters. In addition to their profession, they are responsible for identifying signs of abuse, neglect or threat of imminent harm when they are engaging with children.
The state of Florida has a low tolerance for parental abuse toward children, and they will swiftly remove dependents from their homes if parents demonstrate harmful or unsafe behaviors. Even so, the courts acknowledge that the ideal living arrangement for any child is in a permanent, safe and loving home with their biological parents. To that end, Florida courts established a form of therapeutic justice called Early Childhood Court.
So-called Baby Court and its benefits
Florida's Early Childhood Court Initiative (ECC) aims to identify and work with the underlying causes of the unsafe or unstable home environment. Recognizing that many parents themselves were victims of early-life abuse or neglect, the ECC brings together a wide array of integrated services to help the family heal and overcome a legacy of trauma. This includes psychotherapy for both the child and parent, as well as frequent visitations and connections to community-based services.
The benefits of the Early Childhood Court are vast. Not only does this approach work to disrupt intergenerational trauma, but it also speeds up the time to permanency, reduces the likelihood of further removals, and has the potential to save the state millions of dollars in costs associated with court proceedings, foster care and child welfare expenditures.
Change the narrative
If your child or children were removed from your custody, you owe it to them and to yourself to work through the root causes of your harmful or neglectful behaviors. Taking advantage of Florida's Early Childhood Court services could have a dramatic impact on the health and well-being of your precious child, and it could get you reunited much faster. Having legal representation that understands these options can give you the confidence you need to pursue healing once and for all.