Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 320
       By Senator Gaetz
       1-00809-15                                             2015320__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to adoption and foster care; creating
    3         s. 409.1662, F.S.; providing the purpose of the
    4         adoption incentive program; directing the Department
    5         of Children and Families to establish an adoption
    6         incentive program for certain agencies and
    7         subcontractors; requiring that the department conduct
    8         a comprehensive baseline assessment of lead agencies
    9         and provider performance and compile annual data for
   10         the most recent 5 years of available data; providing a
   11         nonexclusive list of factors for the assessment to
   12         identify; requiring that the department negotiate an
   13         outcome-based agreement; requiring that several
   14         factors be included in the agreement; requiring the
   15         department to allocate incentive payments; creating s.
   16         409.1664, F.S.; defining terms; providing certain
   17         amounts payable to a qualifying adoptive employee who
   18         adopts specified children under certain circumstances
   19         subject to a specific appropriation to the department;
   20         providing prorated payments for a part-time employee
   21         and limiting the monetary benefit to one award per
   22         child; requiring that a qualifying adoptive employee
   23         apply to the agency head for the monetary benefit on
   24         forms approved by the department and include a
   25         certified copy of the final order of adoption;
   26         providing that the rights offered by this act do not
   27         preclude a qualifying adoptive employee who adopts a
   28         special needs child to receive any other assistance or
   29         incentive; requiring that parental leave for
   30         qualifying adoptive employees be provided; requiring
   31         the department to adopt rules; requiring the Chief
   32         Financial Officer to submit payment to a qualifying
   33         adoptive employee depending on where he or she works;
   34         requiring state agencies to develop uniform procedures
   35         for informing employees about this benefit and for
   36         assisting the department in making eligibility
   37         determinations and processing applications; creating
   38         s. 409.1666, F.S.; requiring the Governor to annually
   39         select and recognize certain individuals, families, or
   40         organizations for adoption achievement awards;
   41         requiring the department to define categories for the
   42         achievement awards and seek nominations for potential
   43         recipients; authorizing a direct-support organization
   44         established by the Office of Adoption and Child
   45         Protection to accept donations of products or services
   46         from private sources to be given to the recipients of
   47         the adoption achievement awards; providing an
   48         effective date.
   50  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   52         Section 1. Section 409.1662, Florida Statutes, is created
   53  to read:
   54         409.1662 Children within the child welfare system; adoption
   55  incentive program.—
   56         (1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the adoption incentive program
   57  is to advance the state’s achievement of permanency and
   58  stability in living arrangements for children in foster care who
   59  cannot be reunited with their families. The department shall
   60  establish the adoption incentive program to award incentive
   61  payment to community-based care lead agencies, as defined in s.
   62  409.986, and their subcontractors that are involved in the
   63  adoption process for achievement of specific and measureable
   64  adoption performance standards.
   66         (a) The department shall conduct a comprehensive baseline
   67  assessment of the performance of lead agencies and providers
   68  related to adoption of children from foster care. The assessment
   69  shall compile annual data for each of the most recent 5 years
   70  for which data is available. At a minimum, the assessment shall
   71  identify:
   72         1. The number of families attempting to adopt children from
   73  foster care and the number of families completing the adoption
   74  process.
   75         2. The number of children eligible for adoption and the
   76  number of children whose adoptions were finalized.
   77         3.The amount of time eligible children waited for
   78  adoption.
   79         4. The number of adoptions that resulted in disruption or
   80  dissolution and the subset of those disrupted adoptions that
   81  were preventable by the lead agency or the subcontracted
   82  provider.
   83         5. The time taken to complete each phase of the adoption
   84  process.
   85         6. The expenditures made to recruit adoptive homes and a
   86  description of any initiative to improve adoption performance or
   87  streamline the adoption process.
   88         7. The results of any specific effort to gather feedback
   89  from prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents.
   90         (b)Using the information from the baseline assessment, the
   91  department shall negotiate an outcome-based agreement with lead
   92  agencies and their subcontracted providers that are involved in
   93  the adoption process. The agreement shall establish measureable
   94  outcome targets, define the method for measuring performance and
   95  for determining the level of performance required to earn the
   96  incentive payment, and the amount of the incentive payment which
   97  may be earned for each target. The department shall update the
   98  assessment annually.
   99         (3) INCENTIVE PAYMENTS.—
  100         (a) The department shall allocate incentive payments to
  101  performance improvement targets in a manner that ensures that
  102  total payments do not exceed the amount appropriated for this
  103  purpose.
  104         (b) The department shall ensure that the amount of the
  105  incentive payments are proportionate to the value of the
  106  performance improvement.
  107         Section 2. Section 409.1664, Florida Statutes, is created
  108  to read:
  109         409.1664 Adoption benefits for qualifying adoptive
  110  employees of state agencies.—
  111         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  112         (a) “Child within the child welfare system” has the same
  113  meaning as in s. 409.166.
  114         (b) “Qualifying adoptive employee” means a full-time or
  115  part-time employee of a state agency who is paid from regular
  116  salary appropriations, or otherwise meets the state agency
  117  employer’s definition of a regular rather than temporary
  118  employee, and who adopts a child within the child welfare system
  119  pursuant to chapter 63. The term includes instructional
  120  personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01, employed by the Florida
  121  School for the Deaf and the Blind.
  122         (c) “State agency” means a branch, department, or agency of
  123  state government for which the Chief Financial Officer processes
  124  payroll requisitions, a state university or Florida College
  125  System institution as defined in s. 1000.21, a school district
  126  unit as defined in s. 1001.30, or a water management district as
  127  defined in s. 373.019.
  128         (2) A qualifying adoptive employee that adopts a child
  129  within the child welfare system who has additional special needs
  130  as described in s. 409.166 is eligible to receive a lump-sum
  131  monetary benefit in the amount of $10,000 per child within the
  132  child welfare system, subject to applicable taxes. A qualifying
  133  adoptive employee that adopts a child within the child welfare
  134  system who has no additional special needs as described in s.
  135  409.166 is eligible to receive a lump-sum monetary benefit in
  136  the amount of $5,000 per child within the child welfare system,
  137  subject to applicable taxes.
  138         (a) Benefits paid to a qualifying adoptive employee who is
  139  a part-time employee must be prorated based on the qualifying
  140  adoptive employee’s full-time equivalency at the time of
  141  applying for the benefits.
  142         (b) Monetary benefits are limited to one award per adopted
  143  child within the child welfare system.
  144         (c) The payment of a lump-sum monetary benefit for adopting
  145  a child within the child welfare system under this section is
  146  subject to a specific appropriation to the department for such
  147  purpose.
  148         (3) A qualifying adoptive employee must apply to his or her
  149  agency head to obtain the monetary benefit provided in
  150  subsection (2). Applications must be on forms approved by the
  151  department and must include a certified copy of the final order
  152  of adoption naming the applicant as the adoptive parent.
  153         (4) This section does not affect the right of any
  154  qualifying adoptive employee who adopts a special needs child
  155  that is not a child within the child welfare system to receive
  156  adoption assistance under s. 409.166 or any other statute that
  157  provides financial incentives for the adoption of children.
  158         (5) Parental leave for a qualifying adoptive employee must
  159  be provided in accordance with the personnel policies and
  160  procedures of the employee’s state agency employer.
  161         (6) The department shall adopt rules to administer this
  162  section. The rules may provide for an application process such
  163  as, but not limited to, an open enrollment period during which
  164  qualifying adoptive employees may apply for monetary benefits
  165  under this section.
  166         (7) The Chief Financial Officer shall disburse a monetary
  167  benefit to a qualifying adoptive employee upon the department’s
  168  submission of a payroll requisition. The Chief Financial Officer
  169  shall transfer funds from the department to a state university,
  170  Florida College System institution, school district unit, or
  171  water management district, as appropriate, to enable payment to
  172  the qualifying adoptive employee through the payroll systems as
  173  long as funds are available for such purpose.
  174         (8) Each state agency shall develop a uniform procedure for
  175  informing employees about this benefit and for assisting the
  176  department in making eligibility determinations and processing
  177  applications. Any procedure adopted by a state agency is valid
  178  and enforceable if the procedure does not conflict with the
  179  express terms of this section.
  180         Section 3. Section 409.1666, Florida Statutes, is created
  181  to read:
  182         409.1666 Annual adoption achievement awards.—Each year, the
  183  Governor shall select and recognize one or more individuals,
  184  families, or organizations that make significant contributions
  185  to enabling this state’s foster children to achieve permanency
  186  through adoption. The department shall define appropriate
  187  categories for the achievement awards and seek nominations for
  188  potential recipients in each category from individuals and
  189  organizations knowledgeable about foster care and adoption.
  190         (1) The award shall recognize persons whose contributions
  191  involve extraordinary effort or personal sacrifice in order to
  192  provide caring and permanent homes for foster children.
  193         (2) A direct-support organization established in accordance
  194  with s. 39.0011 by the Office of Adoption and Child Protection
  195  within the Executive Office of the Governor may accept donations
  196  of products or services from private sources to be given to the
  197  recipients of the adoption achievement awards. The direct
  198  support organization may also provide suitable plaques, framed
  199  certificates, pins, and other tokens of recognition.
  200         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.