TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida's Department of Children and Families has named a longtime child abuse investigator and social worker as the agency's first statewide fatality prevention specialist.
It's a new position DCF created to try and improve transparency when releasing child-abuse-death records. Lisa Rivera will oversee data gathering and the agency's responses to child deaths.
Child-welfare officials have been under intense scrutiny after a Miami Herald series highlighted the deaths of 477 children in the past five years. The newspaper accused the agency of recently shifting its internal policies regarding the sharing of information about child deaths in a way that left the records they released so heavily redacted that they were nearly useless.
Rivera has worked for DCF for over 17 years. She begins her new position Friday.