Florida Lawmakes Move to Enhance APS

A little-noticed bill would enable the Florida Department of Children and Families for the first time to ask a court to decide whether a mentally or physically impaired adult needs a guardian.

Supporters say the legislation will remove a roadblock that stalls or blocks state services designed to protect vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. The House passed the bill unanimously Wednesday; a Senate vote is expected this week.

The bill was filed in September, five months before the death of a Fernandina Beach woman with a long history of mental-health problems and department investigations.

Hunter’s death has gained statewide attention as a symbol of what several experts say are gaps in the mental-health care system. Hunter had been admitted to hospital emergency rooms more than 60 times, undergoing several psychiatric evaluations along the way, during the last two years of her life without getting the help she needed, they say.

Reaction to the bill has been mixed.

A former insider at the agency’s Northeast Florida office calls the bill a “classic example of Legislature appearing to do something without dealing with fundamental core issues.” The bill makes it easier for the state to place a vulnerable adult into guardianship, but it doesn’t address the shortage of guardians, said Gene Costlow, who retired from his human services program director position in March after 37 years with the agency.

Full Article and Source:
Florida Lawmakers Move to Enhance Adult Protection in the Wake of Sarah Hunter’s Death

6 Responses to “Florida Lawmakes Move to Enhance APS”

  1. Patti Says:

    Enhance APS? You've GOT to be kidding me.

  2. StandUp Says:

    No, no, NO – it's not their job to place a person under guardianship.NO.State of Florida take note – the elderly are in increasing danger with this bill!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Florida is going to start losing tourism when the word gets out about another way to hoodwink the elderly.

  4. Sally Says:

    I am sorry for the loss of Ms. Hunter and surely there are many who dropped the ball and their negligence or uncaring led to her death. But, this bill is bad.

  5. Holly Says:

    Are these the same law makers and APS who do NOTHING to help a person who has been granny napped from their home and domicile of Pennsylvania?God Help the Elderly in Florida and those who pass thru!My mother was taken by a sibling to visit in FL intentionally to avoid a scheduled guardianship hearing in PA which is her home and domicile.Florida Elder Abuse Hotline was the 1st one I called!! I was assured they would look into this and resolve it to protect mother! It's been almost 3 yrs. now with mother being kept in a Florida facility like a prisoner. She has a family who loves her and wants her home but Volusia County Court appears to be buried in confusion by the lies of their Professional Guardian Jetta Getty of Port Orange, Florida. MY personal opinion is that Ms. Getty is nothing more than a "Professional Thief"! If your interested in documented facts of this case in place of Ms. Getty's lies, contact me at hlpeffer@hotmail.comPlease protect your loved one and get as far from Florida as you can. This could happen to you!

  6. MaeEliz Says:

    As a Floridan who has personally gone through the hell of seeing my loved one stolen, his property conficated and all his rights taken away, I shutter at this bill. We need LESS state interference, not more. We need LESS judicial people coming after our loved one's money!DON'T MOVE TO FLORIDA!

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