A comment by Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Chad Poppell is still riling members of the Senate’s Children and Families Committee. None more so than Committee Chairwoman Lauren Book.
Poppell claimed during a recent presentation to lawmakers that “sometimes children make false claims” as he attempted to explain the extremely low investigation rates of sex abuse claims involving foster parents. Book is a child sex abuse survivor.
“People do make false claims,” Poppell said explaining the figures first reported in a USA Today series last year.
“Sometimes children make false claims because they want to change their placement. Sometimes the bio parent makes claims…but I think when you look at the numbers and see zero on that young age group and based on what we know in general, that’s concerning and it concerns me greatly,” Poppell said.
Book pushed back on the assertion regarding children during the meeting.
“Young children, when they disclose abuse, they don’t lie. These are pieces of information they can’t make up unless they’ve had to live through or endure,” she told him.
In a Tuesday interview with WFSU, Book expounded on her comments, calling Poppell’s remarks “insulting” and adding,
“I think that shines a light on a culture piece at the department that we’re going to have to dig into and work to try to fix.”