Southwest Florida’s News-Press.com recently ran an interesting article condemning the legal mandate of strict confidentiality in cases where parents of minor children are accused of abandoning, abusing or neglecting their children. In these juvenile dependency cases, the identities of family members and of the party who called the abuse hotline are all protected.
This strict confidentiality in dependency cases stands out in our sunshine state, which boasts a strong public policy favoring exposing most court case records to public access and scrutiny. The article features the generally less-trumpted arguments against confidentiality in dependency cases.
Florida’s dependency system is charged with protecting tens of thousands of Florida’s children. Although not detailed in the article, there have been several highly publicized cases where children allegedly needed protection from their protectors.