Oversight rules vary

In Florida, the regulation of children's homes can vary greatly depending on how the facility classifies itself. Here are the classifications:

Facility Oversight and inspection Ability to report abuse Corporal punishment Shackling and confinement Religious services Leader credentials

DCF

The Department of Children and Families runs background checks on employees, inspects annually and can order changes in a home's practices. All children must have access to a phone to call Florida's child abuse hotline. Banned. Rules vary from one type of facility to another, but mechanical restraints typically require permission from a doctor. Even confining a child to a room generally has a one-hour limit. Many programs offer prayer and church services, but children cannot be forced to attend. Director must have a bachelor's degree and at least three years' experience in management.

FACCCA

Homes with religious exemptions answer to this nonprofit group, which conducts its own inspections. They provide names of children's home employees to the state, which runs background checks. Officials say kids have a right to report abuse, but former residents said they had no way. Children can be denied access to phones for months at a time. Allowed, with guidelines. Does not endorse mechanical restraints but allows it. No restriction on how long a child can be secluded. FACCCA director expects board to toughen restrictions next month. Mandatory prayer and services are allowed. Children must be prayed with after corporal punishment. Director must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and four years with executive experience in child care and development.

Unaccredited boarding schools

The state Department of Education registers these schools but does not inspect them or review their operations. Boarding schools must seek accreditation, but they have three years. No guaranteed access or training. No limits on corporal punishment. No limits. No restrictions. No requirements.

Searchable list of religious homes

This list of unlicensed religious homes shows which homes have been investigated by state child protection officials following reports of abuse, neglect or other mistreatment of children. While most of these homes operate with a religious exemption under FACCCA, some have no legally-recognized accreditation at all.

Click the name of a home for more information.

Facility name County Accreditation Capacity Children served Abuse investigations Cases with evidence Substantiated abuse cases
Alpha-Omega Miracle Home St. Johns FACCCA 6 pregnant/single moms, children- icc and seniors 0 0 0
Bundle of Hope Ministries Duval FACCCA 9 foster care/adoption 0 0 0
Calvary Academy Ministries Polk FACCCA 42 boys & girls (12-17) 4 1 0
Camp Tracey Children's Home Baker FACCCA 52 boys & girls (13-17) 22 6 2
Central Florida Children's Home Orange FACCCA 24 non-delinquent boys & girls (5-17) 1 0 0
Charity Haven Santa Rosa FACCCA (inactive) 12 girls (12-17) 14 6 3
Covenant Children's Home Marion FACCCA 8 children (5-12) 0 0 0
Edgewood Children's Ranch Orange FACCCA 73 boys & girls (6-17) (orlando area only) 6 0 0
Gateway Christian Military Academy
(Teen Challenge, Bonifay or West Florida Boys Ranch)
Holmes No legally recognized accreditation boys (11-17) 24 3 7
Gator Wilderness Camp School Charlotte FACCCA 20 boys (8-16) 1 0 1
Green Isle Children's Ranch Lake FACCCA (inactive) 32 boys 21 7 5
Hannah's Home of South Florida Palm Beach FACCCA 9 maternity - homeless - pregnant (12-24) 0 0 0
Hope Children's Home Hillsborough FACCCA 70 boys & girls (2-18) 11 3 1
Hosanna House Duval FACCCA 16 girls (12-16) 2 0 0
House of Grace Maternity Home Bay FACCCA 6 pregnancy center 0 0 0
House of Hope Orange FACCCA 30 boys (14-17) & girls (13-17) 5 2 1
Lifeline Family Center Lee FACCCA 36 maternity home & aftercare 0 0 0
Lighthouse Children's Home Leon FACCCA 28 girls (13-16) 0 0 0
Lighthouse of Northwest Florida Santa Rosa FACCCA 70 girls (11-18) 13 1 0
Marvelous Grace Girls Academy Santa Rosa Unaccredited girls up to 18 years old 1 0 0
Nana's Children's Home
(Nana's House)
Brevard FACCCA 5 boys & girls (0-11) 0 0 0
New Beginnings Girls Academy Santa Rosa FACCCA (inactive) girls 3 1 0
New Beginnings Youth Homes Pinellas FACCCA 10 girls (12-17) 0 0 0
Our Father's House Santa Rosa FACCCA (inactive) pregnancy and crisis counseling 6 0 2
Palm Lane Boarding School Desoto FACCCA (inactive) boys & girls 2 1 0
Rodeheaver Boys Ranch Putnam FACCCA 60 boys (7-14) 6 0 0
Safe Harbor Boy's Home and Maritime Academy Duval FACCCA 15 boys (15-17) 14 2 4
Samaritan Home for Young Boys and Families Martin FACCCA 15 boys & girls (5-13) 1 1 0
Southeastern Military Academy
(Victory Forge)
St. Lucie No legally recognized accreditation 12 boys (11-17) 33 8 10
Steppin' Stone Farm Hillsborough FACCCA 27 girls (13-17) 3 0 2
Sunlight Home of Collier County Collier FACCCA 9 maternity home (all ages) 0 0 0
Teen Challenge, Lakeland
(Lakeland Grace Academy School for Girls)
Polk FACCCA 40 girls (11-17) 1 0 0
Teen Challenge, Vero Beach
(Anderson Academy, Vero Beach Ranch for Boys)
Indian River No legally recognized accreditation boys (13-18) 20 6 2
Teen Transformation Ministries Seminole FACCCA (inactive) juveniles 6 0 2
Truth Baptist Academy
(Heritage Boys Academy)
Bay Unaccredited boys 8 2 2
 
 

Last updated Feb. 14, 2013, 1:57 p.m.

  • 490 First Avenue South
  • St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • 727-893-8111