‘Nubia’s Law’ ready for House voteby Dara Kam | February 15th, 2012
A year after the death of 11-year-old Nubia Barahona, lawmakers are poised to approve changes regarding child abuse investigations state officials hope will make children safer.
Nubia Barahona’s decomposing body was found inside her father’s pickup in West Palm Beach a year ago Tuesday. Inside the truck, her twin brother Victor was found drenched in chemicals. The childrens’ adoptive parents Jorge and Carmen are now behind bars facing murder and neglect charges.
On Wednesday, the House gave a preliminary nod to a bill proposed by the Department of Children and Families prompted by shortcomings in the child welfare system exposed by the Barahona case.
In his introduction to the agency’s bill on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Jose Felix Diaz said that “Nubia’s tragic death” caused introspection by DCF officials who “saw what failed these kids and what failed in the system.”
Diaz’s bill (HB 803) includes new training programs for abuse hotline workers, establishes a unified database for abuse reports and increases salaries for child investigators.
The changes “will ensure that the lessons we learned because of the Nubia Barahona case are addressed,” Diaz, R-Miami, promised, “and will assure that our children are a little bit safer tomorrow than they are today.”