PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Largo mother who started a petition calling for change after the death of two year-old Jordan Belliveau met with state representative Chris Latvala Thursday.
- Miranda Hoffstetter, 20, started petition on change.org
- Petition has so far garnered over 10,000 signatures
- Latvala: "One Jordan Belliveau that falls through the cracks is one too many."
Miranda Hoffstetter, 20, is a mother on a mission for change in the name of a child she never met.
“We kind of all adopted Jordan as our own for the past week and a half,” she said.
Hoffstetter said she started a petition on change.org last week when she learned 2-year-old Jordan Belliveau was missing. She said it became even more important when she learned the two-year-old murdered and his mother was charged with the crime.
One week and 10,000 signatures later, Hoffstetter ended up in the office of State Representative Chris Latvala.
Hoffstetter made a list of improvements she thinks can be made to the current system.
“Basically just lower case load and child amount per case worker,” she explained. “Only place the child or children back into the biological home if there is a unanimous vote in the courtroom. I put in here updated rules and regulations, but that kind of goes into everything.”
Latvala agreed some changes need to be made.
“[Department of Children and Families] has a lot on their plate, and if they do a good job 99 percent of the time, that’s not good enough," he said. "Because one Jordan Belliveau that falls through the cracks is one too many."
This heartbreaking case happened in Latvala’s district. He said he prayed for Jordan’s safe return, just like everyone else, and wondered why the toddler wasn’t left with his foster parents.
He said after hearing from Hoffstetter, he’s ready to put a law in place to prevent something like this from happening again.
“Next year, I plan to introduce 'Jordan’s Law' in the Florida House and seek to make changes in the child protection parts of our laws and also DCF needs more funding," Latvala explained. "They need more case workers, so each worker doesn’t deal with 24 cases."
It’s the news Hoffsetter said she wanted to hear, and she’s hoping it will somehow make a difference.
“I’m a 20-year-old. I don’t know a lot about this," she said. "I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do know that I don’t want this to happen again, and it just takes that little bit of passion to help change it."