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Child welfare subcontractor removed from more than 500 cases after 11-year-old child's death

Direction for Living loses $4.6 million contract
Posted: 6:34 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-12 17:22:31-04
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CLEARWATER, Fla. — The I-Team has learned DCF sub-contractor Directions for Living will no longer be managing child welfare cases for DCF in Pinellas County.

The contractor was put on notice the same day the I-Team reported on the death of an 11-year-old boy under its care.

RELATED: Authorities investigate death of 11-year-old boy brought to hospital vomiting

We obtained a letter from Eckerd Connects Community Alternatives.

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In the letter, Eckerd said it is taking over all its 533 subcontracted child welfare cases from Directions for Living to "improve the safety, permanency and well-being of our children and families."

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Directions for Living declined to comment.

But, this isn't the first time the contractor has faced scrutiny. Last September, 2-year-old Jordan Belleveau was reported missing and found dead days later.

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His mother was charged with his murder.

A DCF investigation later blamed case workers at Directions for Living for ignoring warning signs that he was in danger.

Directions for Living is expected to be removed from all Pinellas cases within 60 days.

The annual contract is valued at $4.6 million.

The death of the 11-year-old boy remains under investigation and the coroner is awaiting toxicology results.

If you have a story you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email us at adam@abcactionnews.com.