For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2017
Critical Incident Rapid Response Team Report – Naika Venant
TALLAHASSEE – Based on the circumstances of the tragic death of Naika Venant on January 22, 2017, and a subsequent call to the Florida Abuse Hotline on February 9, 2017, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll deployed a Critical Incident Rapid Response Team (CIRRT) to Miami-Dade County.
The multidisciplinary team comprised of child welfare professionals from across the state assessed all of the community interactions and interventions with the Venant family. Additionally, a team of behavioral health experts conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of the behavioral health assessments and services provided to Naika and her mother.
Secretary Carroll said, “There is little we can say that adequately describes the sorrow we still feel today from the loss of Naika. It is even more exacerbated by the information that was learned during the course of the CIRRT investigation – that this is a child who endured great trauma in her life and despite many service interventions, we were not able to put the pieces back together to prevent her from taking her own life in such a public forum.
“There has been much work done in the child welfare system throughout the state, and in Miami-Dade County in recent years, but our work will never be done. The findings outlined in the CIRRT present specific opportunities to make systemic improvements that will inform us and our partner agencies on how to better reach troubled kids.”
As a result of the findings of the CIRRT, Secretary Carroll will immediately begin implementation of the actions outlined below.
- Deploy a peer review team to review communication, information sharing, and transparency within the local system of care, including the local community-based care lead agency, OurKids, and their providers
- Develop and provide training on mental health literacy for DCF child protective investigators, case managers, and foster parents
- Develop training for foster parents on the use of social media by children in their care and the warning signs of inappropriate internet behavior
- Improve integration and establish standards for information sharing among treatment providers
- Coordinate with the network of managed care providers and OurKids to ensure an adequate number of specialized therapeutic foster homes in the area
Media Contact: Jessica Sims, Communications Director, Jessica.Sims@myflfamilies.com