Senate approves $10 million for adoptive family of PBC brothers raped in foster careby Dara Kam | April 28th, 2009
The Senate just agreed to pay nearly $10 million to the family who adopted three brothers who were raped and starved in Palm Beach County foster care.
Under the measure (SB 58), the state will pay Jorge and Debbie and their adopted children $950,000 a year for the next 10 years.
The House has yet to approve the settlement but House Speaker Larry Cretul spoke personally with the family last week.
Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon asked Cretul and Senate President Jeff Atwater, who sponsored the claims bill last year, the settlement be paid.
As small children, the boys were repeatedly molested by former foster parent Hector Rosa, who is serving life in prison for his crimes. In another foster home, they were threatened with being locked up in a chicken coop when they misbehaved. DCF hid that history from the couple to help speed the boys’ adoption.
Lawmakers approved another bill (HB 381) on its way to Gov. Charlie Crist’s desk that would give potential foster and adoptive families the ability to review case files before they take the children into their homes. Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, sponsored the legislation based on the Palm Beach County family’s experience.