Florida Senate - 2011                                     SB 404
       By Senator Wise
       5-00075-11                                             2011404__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to transition-to-adulthood services;
    3         amending s. 985.03, F.S.; defining the term
    4         “transition-to-adulthood services”; creating s.
    5         985.461, F.S.; providing legislative intent concerning
    6         transition-to-adulthood services for youth in the
    7         custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice;
    8         providing for eligibility for services for youth
    9         served by the department who are legally in the
   10         custody of the Department of Children and Family
   11         Services; providing that an adjudication of
   12         delinquency does not disqualify a youth in foster care
   13         from certain services from the Department of Children
   14         and Family Services; providing powers and duties of
   15         the Department of Juvenile Justice for transition
   16         services; providing for assessments; requiring that
   17         services be part of a plan leading to independence;
   18         amending s. 985.0301, F.S.; providing for retention of
   19         court jurisdiction over a child for a specified period
   20         following the child’s 19th birthday if the child is
   21         participating in transition-to-adulthood services;
   22         providing that certain services require voluntary
   23         participation by affected youth and do not create an
   24         involuntary court-sanctioned residential commitment;
   25         providing an effective date.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   29         Section 1. Present subsections (57) and (58) of section
   30  985.03, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (58) and
   31  (59), respectively, and a new subsection (57) is added to that
   32  section to read:
   33         985.03 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   34         (57) “Transition-to-adulthood services” means services that
   35  are provided for youth in the custody of the department or under
   36  the supervision of the department and that have the objective of
   37  instilling the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes essential to a
   38  socially integrated, self-supporting adult life. The services
   39  may include, but are not limited to:
   40         (a) Assessment of the youth’s ability and readiness for
   41  adult life.
   42         (b) A plan for the youth to acquire the knowledge,
   43  information, and counseling necessary to make a successful
   44  transition to adulthood.
   45         (c) Services that have proven effective toward achieving
   46  the transition to adulthood.
   47         Section 2. Section 985.461, Florida Statutes, is created to
   48  read:
   49         985.461 Transition to adulthood.—
   50         (1) The Legislature finds that older youth are faced with
   51  the need to learn how to support themselves within legal means
   52  and overcome the stigma of being delinquent. In most cases,
   53  parents expedite this transition. It is the intent of the
   54  Legislature that the department provide older youth in its
   55  custody or under its supervision with opportunities for
   56  participating in transition-to-adulthood services while in the
   57  department’s commitment programs or in probation or conditional
   58  release programs in the community. These services should be
   59  reasonable and appropriate for the youths’ respective ages or
   60  special needs and provide activities that build life skills and
   61  increase the ability to live independently and become self
   62  sufficient.
   63         (2) Youth served by the department who are in the custody
   64  of the Department of Children and Family Services and who
   65  entered juvenile justice placement from a foster care placement,
   66  if otherwise eligible, may receive independent living transition
   67  services pursuant to s. 409.1451. Court-ordered commitment or
   68  probation with the department is not a barrier to eligibility
   69  for the array of services available to a youth who is in the
   70  dependency foster care system only.
   71         (3) For a dependent child in the foster care system,
   72  adjudication for delinquency does not, by itself, disqualify
   73  such child for eligibility in the Department of Children and
   74  Family Services independent living program.
   75         (4) To support participation in transition-to-adulthood
   76  services and subject to appropriation, the department may:
   77         (a) Assess the child’s skills and abilities to live
   78  independently and become self-sufficient. The specific services
   79  to be provided shall be determined using an assessment of his or
   80  her readiness for adult life.
   81         (b) Develop a list of age-appropriate activities and
   82  responsibilities to be incorporated in the child’s written case
   83  plan for any youth 17 years of age or older who is under the
   84  custody or supervision of the department. Activities may
   85  include, but are not limited to, life skills training, including
   86  training to develop banking and budgeting skills, interviewing
   87  and career planning skills, parenting skills, personal health
   88  management, and time management or organizational skills;
   89  educational support; employment training; and counseling.
   90         (c) Provide information related to social security
   91  insurance benefits and public assistance.
   92         (d) Request parental or guardian permission for the youth
   93  to participate in transition-to-adulthood services. Upon such
   94  consent, age-appropriate activities shall be incorporated into
   95  the youth’s written case plan. This plan may include specific
   96  goals and objectives and shall be reviewed and updated at least
   97  quarterly. If the parent or guardian is cooperative, the plan
   98  may not interfere with the parent’s or guardian’s rights to
   99  nurture and train his or her child in ways that are otherwise in
  100  compliance with the law and court order.
  101         (e) Contract for transition-to-adulthood services that
  102  include residential services and assistance and allow the child
  103  to live independently of the daily care and supervision of an
  104  adult in a setting that is not licensed under s. 409.175. A
  105  child under the care or supervision of the department who has
  106  reached 17 years of age but is not yet 19 years of age is
  107  eligible for such services if he or she does not pose a danger
  108  to the public and is able to demonstrate minimally sufficient
  109  skills and aptitude for living under decreased adult
  110  supervision, as determined by the department, using established
  111  procedures and assessments.
  112         (5) For a child who is 17 years of age or older, under the
  113  department’s care or supervision, and without benefit of parents
  114  or legal guardians capable of assisting the child in the
  115  transition to adult life, the department may provide an
  116  assessment to determine the child’s skills and abilities to live
  117  independently and become self-sufficient. Based on the
  118  assessment and within existing resources, services and training
  119  may be provided in order to develop the necessary skills and
  120  abilities before the child’s 18th birthday.
  121         (6) The provision of transition-to-adulthood services must
  122  be part of an overall plan leading to the total independence of
  123  the child from department supervision. The plan must include,
  124  but need not be limited to:
  125         (a) A description of the child’s skills and a plan for
  126  learning additional identified skills;
  127         (b) The behavior that the child has exhibited which
  128  indicates an ability to be responsible and a plan for developing
  129  additional responsibilities, as appropriate;
  130         (c) A plan for the provision of future educational,
  131  vocational, and training skills;
  132         (d) Present financial and budgeting capabilities and a plan
  133  for improving resources and abilities;
  134         (e) A description of the proposed residence;
  135         (f) Documentation that the child understands the specific
  136  consequences of his or her conduct in such a program;
  137         (g) Documentation of proposed services to be provided by
  138  the department and other agencies, including the type of
  139  services and the nature and frequency of contact; and
  140         (h) A plan for maintaining or developing relationships with
  141  family, other adults, friends, and the community, as
  142  appropriate.
  143         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  144  985.0301, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  145         985.0301 Jurisdiction.—
  146         (5)(a) Notwithstanding ss. 743.07, 985.43, 985.433,
  147  985.435, 985.439, and 985.441, and except as provided in ss.
  148  985.461, 985.465, and 985.47 and paragraph (f), when the
  149  jurisdiction of any child who is alleged to have committed a
  150  delinquent act or violation of law is obtained, the court shall
  151  retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its order, until the
  152  child reaches 19 years of age, with the same power over the
  153  child which that the court had before prior to the child became
  154  becoming an adult. For the purposes of s. 985.461, the court may
  155  retain jurisdiction for an additional 365 days following the
  156  child’s 19th birthday if the child is participating in
  157  transition-to-adulthood services. The additional services do not
  158  extend involuntary court-sanctioned residential commitment and
  159  therefore require voluntary participation by the affected youth.
  160         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.