Jordan's Law would address issues with Florida's child welfare system
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - On what would have been his third birthday, state lawmakers vowed to re-introduce Jordan's Law in Tallahassee.
The bill is named after Jordan Belliveau, who died in the midst of a child welfare case in Pinellas County in 2018.
State Rep. Chris Latvala said Monday he wants to pass meaningful legislation that will make sure what happened to Jordan will not happen again.
The bill stalled last session, in part, Latvala believes due to "politics" related to his father, former Senator Jack Latvala, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
"Due to past events, I expect there to be retribution for some of my bills and that's fine, but don't do this on a child welfare bill," said Latvala.
Latvala says Jordan's law would reduce the number of cases a caseworker takes and would increase communication between caseworkers and law enforcement.
It would also require special training for parents, police, and caseworkers regarding head trauma, the leading cause of child abuse deaths, including Jordan's.
Belliveau was allegedly killed by his mother, Charisse Stinson in September 2018, months after he was returned to her from foster care.
"His death was caused by a lack of communication between law enforcement and DCF. This bill corrects these communication issues," said State Sen. Darryl Rouson.
To give Jordan's law the best chance of approval this time around, Latvala has created jordanslaw.com.
He calls the bill a top priority.
"Jordan's Law will play a crucial part in protecting children in Florida. I hope we can all work together to make this a reality," said Largo Police Chief Jeff Undestad.
Stinson's trial is slated for March 2020.