37 children between
the ages of 15 - 19 in District Eight died a violent death.
1,566 children were affected by dissolutions of marriage.
2,289 children dropped out of high school.
9,195 Reports of
Child Abuse and Neglect in District Eight in Fiscal Year 2000 - 2001 (see
Demographic characteristics of the 3,277 victims with verified or some
indication of child abuse and neglect in Florida are as follows: 737 children
between the age of 0-2 years; 585 children between the ages of 3-5 years;
799 children between the ages of 6-9 years; 687 children between the ages
of 10-13 years; 465 children between the ages of 14-17 years; no children
were 18 years of age and up; and 4 children of unknown ages (see
Of the 3,277 victims with verified or some indication of child abuse and
neglect, there were 1,586 male, 1,685 female, and 6 unknown victims. Of
that total, 2,584 were white; 638 were black; and 55 were of other races
5 children in District Eight died directly from abuse or neglect in 2002.
In February 2003, there were 421 children in foster care homes in District
Eight; 38 children in residential group care; and 42 children in emergency
In February 2003, District Eight had 1,079 children under State supervision
and custody. Of these children, 349 are from Collier County; 562 from
Lee County, 66 from Charlotte County, and 102 from Glade and Hendry Counties.47
District Eight has one long-term residential care facility, which is located
in Lee County. This facility provides 10 beds. For girls in foster care
that become pregnant, there is a long-term placement option in Lee County
which has 18 beds. There are a small number of short-term placement options
(30 days or less) for children in District Eight, providing a total of
72 beds. Of these, 12 beds are in Collier County, 12 beds are in Charlotte
County and 48 beds are in Lee County. Children who are placed in long-term
care homes must travel to children's homes as far away as Jacksonville
(see graph) 48.
The Child Protection
Unit provided assessment services for 1,470 cases of abuse or neglect
to District Eight in 2002. Of those, 830 were in Lee County and 467 were
in Collier County.49
On any given day in
Collier County, approximately 150 abused and neglected children are in
foster care-having been removed from their homes by a court in order to
protect their safety-or have been returned to their families or relatives
but are still under court-ordered supervision by the state. During the
year, between 75 and 100 new children will be taken into the custody of
the state. These children have experienced loss and psychological injury
that often leaves deeper scars than any physical abuse they received.
About 75% are so emotionally damaged that they need mental health treatment
and at least 25% of those require intensive treatment. Many never fully
recover from the trauma they endured during their childhood. 50