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DCF pulls children from Tampa Bay Academy

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By MITCH TRAPHAGEN
mitch@observernews.net

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Mitch Traphagen Photo
The Florida Department of Children and Families removed three children from the Tampa Bay Academy in Riverview on Monday. Approximately a dozen more children are expected to be removed in the near future.
RIVERVIEW - The Florida Department of Children and Families has removed three children from the Tampa Bay Academy in Riverview.  According to news reports, DCF plans to remove all children under its care, roughly 12 more children in the near future.

The Tampa Bay Academy, located on Boyette Road, is a residential treatment center for children treating depression, family conflicts, abuse, anger, mental health problems and sexual abuse, according to the facility’s website. The academy offers psychiatric treatment and therapeutic services for children ranging in age from seven to 17.

The DCF Circuit 13 office, covering Hillsborough County, reported to the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times an increase in incidents involving violence and mismanagement within the Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program in the academy.  The director of the Tampa DCF office, Nick Cox, told the media that some facility staff members do not appear to be adequately trained.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration issued a moratorium on Tampa Bay Academy accepting new patients on August 20.  The facility’s license remains intact during the AHCA moratorium, pending resolution by the facility.  The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on an investigation or the possibility of wrongdoing by the academy.

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