The case manager who was primarily responsible for Jordan Belliveau Jr.'s case before his death no longer works for the agency.
Directions for Living, a local mental health clinic and child welfare agency, was subcontracted by Eckerd Connects to oversee Belliveau's case. Belliveau was found dead September 2018 in a wooded area in Largo. His mother, Charisse Stinson, has been charged with his murder and giving a false story to a law enforcement officer.
Documents released Wednesday by the Department of Children and Families say warning signs were missed and agency policies weren't followed by case managers and other parties in the months leading up to Belliveau's death.
The documents have since garnered statements from DCF, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Eckerd Connects.
President and CEO for Directions for Living, April Lott, said they are "more than just saddened and forever changed by Jordan's death." Lott said Belliveau's case is a reminder of the need for constant improvement within the agency and across the child welfare industry.
Lott said the case manager overseeing Belliveau's case is no longer with Directions for Living. However, the case manager assigned to Belliveau at the time of the boy's death is still employed there. That case manager had been on the case for five months.
"That case manager, along with every other person who was involved in this case in any way, was placed on an immediate corrective action plan last September, up to and including disciplinary action, including extensive re-training," Lott said. "Please note that while we immediately took this action following Jordan’s death, we too have been awaiting the release of this report to inform further steps which may be necessary to address concerns related to this case."
Following Belliveau's death, Directions for Living said it developed and implemented an action plan, which has since been underway for months.
Lott said that action plan includes:
-- Creating better partnerships and communication between DFL and other agencies working the child welfare system
-- Doing internal reviews of all children 5 and under after they've been reunited with their parents
-- Triple-checking for warning signs that could signal safety concerns
-- Staff training on case planning and how to determine treatment around case plans
-- Child safety training on mental health first aid
-- Training on understanding "social detriments of health," domestic violence and substance abuse and how they impact cases
-- Development of a team responsible for "improving the integration of behavioral health and child welfare via revision of relevant policies, procedures, forms, and language used to ensure no future miscommunications occur."
"Above all else, we want to use this opportunity to improve [what is] needed so that we can continue to provide the most effective services possible to children and families throughout Tampa Bay," Lott said.
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