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2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)

Children within the child welfare system; adoption incentive program.
F.S. 409.1662
409.1662 Children within the child welfare system; adoption incentive program.
(1) PURPOSE.The purpose of the adoption incentive program is to advance the state’s achievement of permanency, stability, and well-being in living arrangements for children in foster care who cannot be reunited with their families. The department shall establish the adoption incentive program to award incentive payment to community-based care lead agencies, as defined in s. 409.986, and their subcontracted providers that are involved in the adoption process, for achievement of specific and measurable adoption performance standards that lead to permanency, stability, and well-being for children.
(a) The department shall conduct a comprehensive baseline assessment of the performance of lead agencies and subcontracted providers related to adoption of children from foster care. The assessment shall compile annual data for each of the most recent 5 years for which data is available. The department shall update the assessment annually. At a minimum, the assessment shall identify:
1. The number of families attempting to adopt children from foster care and the number of families completing the adoption process.
2. The number of children eligible for adoption and the number of children whose adoptions were finalized.
3. The amount of time eligible children waited for adoption.
4. The number of adoptions that resulted in disruption or dissolution and the subset of those disrupted adoptions that were preventable by the lead agency or the subcontracted provider.
5. The time taken to complete each phase of the adoption process.
6. The expenditures made to recruit adoptive homes and a description of any initiative to improve adoption performance or streamline the adoption process.
7. The results of any specific effort to gather feedback from prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, children in the child welfare system, adoptees, and other stakeholders.
8. The use of evidence-based, evidence-informed, promising, and innovative practices in recruitment, orientation, and preparation of appropriate adoptive families, matching children with families, supporting children during the adoption process, and providing postadoptive support.
(b) Using the information from the baseline assessment, the department shall annually negotiate outcome-based agreements with lead agencies and their subcontracted providers. The agreements must establish measurable outcome targets to increase the number of adoptions resulting in permanent placements that enhance children’s well-being. The agreements will define the method for measuring performance and for determining the level of performance required to earn the incentive payment, and the amount of the incentive payment which may be earned for each target.
(a) The department shall allocate incentive payments to performance improvement targets in a manner that ensures that total payments do not exceed the amount appropriated for this purpose.
(b) The department shall ensure that the amount of the incentive payments is proportionate to the value of the performance improvement.
(4) REPORT.The department shall report annually by November 15 to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the negotiated targets set for, outcomes achieved by, and incentive payments made to each lead agency during the previous fiscal year. The report shall also discuss the program enhancements made by each lead agency and its subcontracted providers to achieve negotiated outcomes under this section.
History.s. 5, ch. 2015-130.