Florida Kids Central worker accused of abusing 11-year-old foster child

A Kids Central employee was arrested after he aggressively threw an 11-year-old foster child onto a couch and hurt her, according to an arrest affidavit from the Wildwood Police Department. 

Cordell Baugh-Samuels was arrested and charged with child abuse after the incident that unfolded at the Kids Central and Department of Children and Families office in Wildwood on April 24. 

Kids Central is an agency contracted with the Department of Children and Families. Baugh-Samuels is listed as a "family care manager" in the arrest affidavit. 

According to Kids Central job openings, a family care manager is responsible for "providing safety management services and case management to ensure appropriate interventions and services are provided to enhance caregiver protective capacities while ensuring the child’s safety, permanency, and well-being in relation to the family’s identified needs."

A DCF spokesperson issued the following statement regarding Baugh-Samuels' arrest:

"The Department conducts investigations concerning all allegations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. We take our responsibility seriously to protect our children and expect the highest treatment from our contracted providers as well. It is important to note that Cordell Baugh-Samuels was not employed by the Department. We have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as needed. Information regarding investigations is confidential per section 39.202, Florida Statutes."

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On April 24 just after 12:30 p.m., Wildwood police responded to 901 Industrial Drive in reference to child abuse. A witness told police that Baugh-Samuels allegedly grabbed an 11-year-old foster child, threw her on the couch and hurt her. The child is a foster child on "night-to-night placement," according to the affidavit. 

Cordell Baugh-Samuels was arrested and charged with child abuse on April 29, 2024. (Photo: Sumter County Sheriffs Office)

The 11-year-old girl told police that she asked Baugh-Samuels to speak with her assigned case manager, to which Baugh-Samuels denied her, grabbed her and threw her on the couch, the affidavit said. Video surveillance of the incident matched the girl's statement, and also showed Baugh-Samuels grabbing her "aggressively," picking her up from under her armpits and throwing her on the couch, according to police. 

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The video then Baugh-Samuels stepping out of the room. The girl was seen crying and hitting her own head against the wall before Baugh-Samuels made his way back inside in an "intimidating manner" and apparently yelled at the girl, according to the affidavit. 

"The victim instantly balled up, lifted her arms, and tucked her face down, indicative of trying to shield herself in fear," the affidavit said. 

Police said they noticed two bruises on the girl's left arm in a way that indicated she was grabbed "with a great deal of force," according to the affidavit. 

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The incident happened while another DCF worker stepped away to use the restroom. When the woman returned, she saw the child crying on the couch. She said she heard Baugh-Samuels telling the child, "You're not going to pull that s***," according to the affidavit. 

In a post-Miranda interview with police, Baugh-Samuels said he "guided" the girl to the couch and did not realize there was video surveillance in the room, the affidavit said. 

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He was arrested and transported to the Sumter County Detention Center. He has since been released after posting $2,000 bond. 

FOX 35 has reached out to Kids Central and the Department of Children and Families for comment.