Sunday, November 30, 2008

Unfortunately, another reminder from Florida about the need for SBS education in foster care programs. It's a sober reminder to the agencies operating foster care programs that the failure to educate foster parents increases their potential liability.

Boy In Shaken Baby Lawsuit Dies After 2 Years On Life Support


Published: November 30, 2008

TAMPA - A child involved in a well-publicized "shaken baby" lawsuit and who had been on life support for more than two years died Friday, according to a former Pinellas County prosecutor.

State Rep. Darryl Rouson's law office represents the 3 1/2-year-old boy's mother. He said Sunday night that he will ask the state attorney's office to upgrade the charges for the child's foster caregiver, Tenesia Brown, from aggravated child abuse to murder.

Brown and her husband, Marcus, had custody of the child, Lazon, and his brother for nearly four months while their mother, Niccole Booze, completed a drug treatment program.

Brown is accused of shaking Lazon in March 2006, when he was still a toddler. Brown was charged on Nov. 1, 2006, with aggravated child abuse. She turned herself in to authorities and was released after posting $50,000 bail. Brown, a certified nurse's aide with no previous criminal record, has since been awaiting trial.

In 2006, Booze filed a civil lawsuit against the Browns and the Safe Children's Coalition, Directions for Mental Health and the Sarasota Family YMCA, the agencies responsible for caring for her children. Local agencies did "an absolutely shoddy job in vetting out foster parents," Rouson said. "She trusted her child to the system. But the baby suffered."

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