What the f*ck does it take for DCF to save a child?

Child neglect bed bugs

“The bed in which the child slept was peppered with bed bugs, and his sheets were dotted with blood spots from where his open bug bites had bled in the night.”

Read that sentence as many times as it takes for you to imagine in your mind what a hellhole like that must look like.

Now imagine a 6-year-old boy who weighs just 37 pounds having to lay his gentle little head on the pillow of that bed.

It breaks your heart, right? The only thing you want to do is scoop up that little boy, wrap him in a warm blanket and take care of him.

Since February of 2015 the Bay County school system and Sheriff’s Office have been documenting how bedbugs have been found crawling in the hair and packed lunch of the boy.

On Thursday, according to Zack McDonald of the Panama City News Herald, the boy again came to school with live bedbugs on him and several bites on his body. The school refused to let him come inside and sent him home on a special bus. When the bus arrived at the home, the Sheriff’s Office found Helena and James Jones had moved back into their condemned residence.

Weeks before their arrests, McDonald reports, the Jones’ home had been condemned after authorities obtained a search warrant. It allegedly was infested with bedbugs.

Yet, only now, after Joneses have been arrested is Florida’s Department of Children and Families — hopefully — stepping in.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the boy is not potty-trained and would often show up to school in a diaper soiled with urine and feces. The BCSO also believes the child is being overmedicated so that the Joneses can more easily supervise him.

Thank God for the school employees who, according to McDonald, offered to have the home treated for the infestation.

Thank God the Bay County Sheriff’s Office finally stepped in. A combination of factors caused a “major concern” for law enforcement, the BCSO stated.

Why haven’t those factors caused a major concern for DCF?

The turmoil, which had been plaguing the department for the better part of this decade, seems to have subsided this year with Mike Carroll‘s permanent appointment as secretary. His appointment came after the Miami Herald chronicled the deaths of 477 children whose families had previously interacted with DCF.

Still, in a state as populous as Florida, there will always be tragedies like the death of Phoebe Jonchuck, the 5-year-old girl who was thrown from a bridge by her deranged father.

After that incident, Carroll assured lawmakers it was changing its criteria for when to intervene in the life of a child at risk.

Imagine yourself seeing a 6-year-old boy, obviously undernourished, who wears a soiled diaper and has bedbugs crawling on him to the point he is visibly bleeding.

What the f*ck does it take for the alarm bells to go off at the Department of Children and Families?

An inquiry of the Deparment’s knowledge, if any, of this incident and any past involvement with the Jones family has been made. This post will be updated when the department responds.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • Voncile

    May 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Who is prescribing the ‘medication’? If there is a doctor involved, that doctor needs his license revoked immediately!! Florida DCF if the pitts and has been for a long time.

    • Jim Anderson

      May 23, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      It is not just Florida…we have the same going on in Illinois…I have first hand knowledge of this and pictures and flicks to back me up!!!

Comments are closed.


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