Florida Senate - 2012                                    SB 1126
       By Senator Sobel
       31-00703A-12                                          20121126__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to child protective services; amending
    3         s. 39.6012, F.S.; requiring a case plan for a child
    4         receiving services from the Department of Children and
    5         Family Services to include additional documentation
    6         relating to a child’s school attendance and parent or
    7         caregiver efforts to permit the child to remain in the
    8         school attended at the time of placement in care;
    9         requiring a case plan for middle school or high school
   10         students to include information regarding programs and
   11         services that prepare the student for the transition
   12         from care to independent living; requiring a case plan
   13         to contain procedures for a child who is in middle
   14         school or high school to directly access and manage a
   15         personal allowance; creating s. 39.6015, F.S.;
   16         requiring certain adult caregivers to serve as
   17         education advocates for a child in middle school or
   18         high school; providing a timeframe for appointing a
   19         surrogate parent for a child who has a disability;
   20         requiring the community-based provider to document the
   21         selection of an education advocate or surrogate parent
   22         in the child’s case plan; providing an effective date.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 39.6012,
   27  Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (4) is added to
   28  that section, to read:
   29         39.6012 Case plan tasks; services.—
   30         (2) The case plan must include all available information
   31  that is relevant to the child’s care including, at a minimum:
   32         (a) A description of the identified needs of the child
   33  while in care.
   34         (b) A description of the plan for ensuring that the child
   35  receives safe and proper care and that services are provided to
   36  the child in order to address the child’s needs. To the extent
   37  available and accessible, the following health, mental health,
   38  and education information and records of the child must be
   39  attached to the case plan and updated throughout the judicial
   40  review process:
   41         1. The names and addresses of the child’s health, mental
   42  health, and educational providers;
   43         2. The child’s grade level performance;
   44         3. The child’s school record, including the child’s
   45  attendance record;
   46         4. A description of the parent or current caregiver’s
   47  efforts to address problems relating to school attendance and
   48  improve the child’s school attendance, if such problems exist;
   49         5.4. Assurances that the child’s placement takes into
   50  account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled
   51  at the time of placement and that efforts were made to allow the
   52  child to remain in that school if it is in the best interest of
   53  the child;
   54         6.5. A record of the child’s immunizations;
   55         7.6. The child’s known medical history, including any known
   56  problems;
   57         8.7. The child’s medications, if any; and
   58         9.8. Any other relevant health, mental health, and
   59  education information concerning the child.
   60         (3) In addition to any other requirement, if the child is
   61  in an out-of-home placement, the case plan must include:
   62         (a) A description of the type of placement in which the
   63  child is to be living.
   64         (b) A description of the parent’s visitation rights and
   65  obligations and the plan for sibling visitation if the child has
   66  siblings and is separated from them.
   67         (c) When appropriate, for a child who is in middle school
   68  or high school 13 years of age or older, a written description
   69  of the programs and services that will help the child prepare
   70  for the transition from foster care to independent living.
   71         (d) A discussion of the safety and the appropriateness of
   72  the child’s placement, which placement is intended to be safe,
   73  and the least restrictive and the most family-like setting
   74  available consistent with the best interest and special needs of
   75  the child and in as close proximity as possible to the child’s
   76  home.
   77         (4) The case plan must contain procedures for a child who
   78  is in middle school or high school to directly access and manage
   79  the personal allowance he or she receives from the department in
   80  order to learn responsibility and participate, to the extent
   81  feasible, in age-appropriate life skills activities.
   82         Section 2. Section 39.6015, Florida Statutes, is created to
   83  read:
   84         39.6015 Services for children in middle school or high
   85  school in care.—
   86         (1) A child in middle school or high school in care shall
   87  have an adult caregiver who is knowledgeable about schools and
   88  children in care and who serves as an education advocate to
   89  reinforce the value of the child’s investment in education, to
   90  ensure that the child receives a high-quality education, and to
   91  help the child plan for middle school, high school, and
   92  postschool training, employment, or college. The education
   93  advocate may be a caregiver, care manager, guardian ad litem,
   94  educator, community volunteer, or individual hired and trained
   95  for the specific purpose of serving as an education advocate.
   96         (2) A child in middle school or high school in care who has
   97  a disability and is eligible for the appointment of a surrogate
   98  parent, as required in s. 39.0016, shall be assigned a surrogate
   99  parent in a timely manner, but no later than 30 days after a
  100  determination that a surrogate parent is needed.
  101         (3) The community-based provider shall document in the
  102  child’s case plan that an education advocate has been identified
  103  for each child in care or that a surrogate parent has been
  104  appointed for each child in care who has a disability.
  105         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.