Howard Talenfeld, is a nationally known child advocate who focuses his law practice on protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals in civil rights cases, personal injury cases and systemic reform litigation. He has litigated cases that have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts that changed how governmental and private institutions care for children and the elderly. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Mr. Talenfeld represented the state of Florida in its major class-action law suits dealing with the foster care system, children’s mental health system, juvenile justice system, state psychiatric hospitals and the provision of Medicaid services to the developmentally disabled, among others. Nationally, he pioneered defending these cases by advocating for the improvement and reform of human service systems, while protecting states’ rights and avoiding federal over-sight.
Beyond his courtroom successes, Mr. Talenfeld has been a forceful advocate for change. He has argued for systemic reform litigation before many state and national groups, including the U.S. Congress, the National Association of State Mental Health Lawyers, the American Public Welfare Association and many Florida legislative committees. In 1996, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Youth Law Center, a national children’s advocacy group. He helped the organization develop into a viable entity that assists at-risk youth and teens. Continuing that path, he began an effort to coordinate a statewide organization of child advocates who would help Florida’s at-risk children. In 2002, he became the founding President of Florida’s Children First (FCF). Comprised of advocates from throughout the state of Florida, FCF works through multi-forum advocacy before the executive branch, the Florida Legislature and the Florida Courts to protect children who are at risk in foster care and in the delinquency system in Florida. Mr. Talenfeld was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in Florida, including the Foster Children Bill of Rights, Florida’s pilot project on representation of foster children in Dependency Court, and Florida’s breakthrough interagency education bill for foster children.
Mr. Talenfeld is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the National Association of Council for Children. He previously chaired the Litigation/Class Action Committee and was a representative for the State of Florida to the National Association of Mental Health Attorneys (1993).He received his bachelors of business administration degree from University of Miami School of Business, and his Juris Doctorate from University of Miami School of Law, cum laude.
Citizens for Broward’s Children, Inc. is a countywide group of community, business, civic and political organizations and leaders who are working together to support the reauthorization of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County.
Citizens for Broward’s Children was created by a group of concerned Broward County residents who want to ensure the Children’s Services Council is reauthorized by voters in the 2014 Election.
Membership in Citizens for Broward’s Children is free and open to anyone who shares our goal of supporting the reauthorization of the Broward County Children’s Services Council.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL OF BROWARD COUNTY
The Children’s Services Council of Broward County is an independent special district established by Broward County voters in 2000.
On average, the Children’s Services Council gets less than 2 cents of every dollar paid in property taxes. Those tax dollars are solely dedicated to providing money for a wide variety
of programs designed to help every child lead a healthy, safe and productive life. These programs are delivered by over 100 “provider” agencies throughout the county.
To ensure accountability to the Broward taxpayer, funded programs have clearly defined goals, outcomes and measures and are regularly monitored for program quality and performance and administrative accountability.
The Children’s Services Council provides the leadership, advocacy and resources necessary to enhance children’s lives and empower them to become responsible, productive adults through collaborative planning and funding of a continuum of quality care.
ABOUT THE REAUTHORIZATION
A 2010 state law requires each Children’s Services Council in the State of Florida to go before voters for reauthorization. Reauthorization by the voters of Broward County will allow the Children’s Services Council to continue operating as it has since its creation by voters over 13 years ago.