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Attorney: Girl Who Streamed Suicide on Facebook Live Was Failed by System


When a 14-year-old girl used Facebook Live to live-stream her suicide, the world came to discover the help she desperately needed and never received from Florida’s social services agencies, notes her attorney. Her destructive behavior and long stint in foster care should have been sufficient warning. But as with other cases, warning flags were missed, overlooked, or ignored.

Foster care had been part of Nakia Venant’s life since 2009 – 10 different foster homes and child shelters, even hotels and a child welfare office, since last April alone. Excessive corporal punishment initiated some of the outbursts; alleged sexual abuse by another child while in state care exacerbated her situation. Then, she committed suicide while streaming live on social media, notes Howard Talenfeld, the child welfare attorney representing Venant’s mother, in an article in the Miami Herald.While social media was the channel Nakia chose to tell the world of her plight, questions must be aimed at state officials. “Nakia told the world, in the way she left this world, about the terrible failures in (Florida’s) foster care system,” notes coverage from the Associated Press. “We first need to look more than anywhere else at what is going on in our backyards in Florida.”

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