Florida Senate - 2015 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 940 Ì473434'Î473434 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: RCS . 03/12/2015 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Detert) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Section 39.523, Florida Statutes, is amended to 6 read: 7 39.523 Placement in residential group care.— 8 (1) Except as provided in s. 39.407, any dependent child 11 9 years of age or older who has been in licensed family foster 10 care for 6 months or longer and who is then moved more than once 11 and who is a child with extraordinary needs as defined in s. 12 409.1676 must be assessed for placement in licensed residential 13 group care. The assessment procedures shall be conducted by the 14 department or its agent and shall incorporate and address 15 current and historical information from any psychological 16 testing or evaluation that has occurred; current and historical 17 information from the guardian ad litem, if one has been 18 assigned; current and historical information from any current 19 therapist, teacher, or other professional who has knowledge of 20 the child and has worked with the child; information regarding 21 the placement of any siblings of the child and the impact of the 22 child’s placement in residential group care on the child’s 23 siblings; the circumstances necessitating the moves of the child 24 while in family foster care and the recommendations of the 25 former foster families, if available; the status of the child’s 26 case plan and a determination as to the impact of placing the 27 child in residential group care on the goals of the case plan; 28 the age, maturity, and desires of the child concerning 29 placement; the availability of any less restrictive, more 30 family-like setting for the child in which the foster parents 31 have the necessary training and skills for providing a suitable 32 placement for the child; and any other information concerning 33 the availability of suitable residential group care. If such 34 placement is determined to be appropriate as a result of this 35 procedure, the child must be placed in residential group care, 36 if available. 37 (2) The results of the assessment described in subsection 38 (1) and the actions taken as a result of the assessment must be 39 included in the next judicial review of the child. At each 40 subsequent judicial review, the court must be advised in writing 41 of the status of the child’s placement, with special reference 42 regarding the stability of the placement and the permanency 43 planning for the child. 44 (3) Any residential group care facility that receives 45 children under the provisions of this subsection shall establish 46 special permanency teams dedicated to overcoming the special 47 permanency challenges presented by this population of children. 48 Each facility shall report to the department its success in 49 achieving permanency for children placed by the department in 50 its care at intervals that allow the current information to be 51 provided to the court at each judicial review for the child. 52 (4) This section does not prohibit the department from 53 assessing and placing children who do not meet the criteria in 54 subsection (1) in residential group care if such placement is 55 the most appropriate placement for such children. 56
(5)(a) By December 1 of each year, the department shall57 report to the Legislature on the placement of children in58 licensed residential group care during the year, including the59 criteria used to determine the placement of children, the number60 of children who were evaluated for placement, the number of61 children who were placed based upon the evaluation, and the62 number of children who were not placed. The department shall63 maintain data specifying the number of children who were64 referred to licensed residential child care for whom placement65 was unavailable and the counties in which such placement was66 unavailable. The department shall include this data in its67 report to the Legislature due on December 1, so that the68 Legislature may consider this information in developing the69 General Appropriations Act.70 (b) As part of the report required in paragraph (a), the71 department shall also provide a detailed account of the72 expenditures incurred for “Special Categories: Grants and Aids73 Specialized Residential Group Care Services” for the fiscal year74 immediately preceding the date of the report. This section of75 the report must include whatever supporting data is necessary to76 demonstrate full compliance with paragraph (6)(c). The document77 must present the information by district and must specify, at a78 minimum, the number of additional beds, the average rate per79 bed, the number of additional persons served, and a description80 of the enhanced and expanded services provided.81 (6)(a) The provisions of this section shall be implemented82 to the extent of available appropriations contained in the83 annual General Appropriations Act for such purpose.84 (b) Each year, funds included in the General Appropriations85 Act for Enhanced Residential Group Care as provided for in s.86 409.1676 shall be appropriated in a separately identified87 special category that is designated in the act as “Special88 Categories: Grants and Aids—Specialized Residential Group Care89 Services.”90 (c) Each fiscal year, all funding increases for Enhanced91 Residential Group Care as provided in s. 409.1676 which are92 included in the General Appropriations Act shall be appropriated93 in a lump-sum category as defined in s. 216.011(1)(aa). In94 accordance with s. 216.181(6)(a), the Executive Office of the95 Governor shall require the department to submit a spending plan96 that identifies the residential group care bed capacity shortage97 throughout the state and proposes a distribution formula by98 district which addresses the reported deficiencies. The spending99 plan must have as its first priority the reduction or100 elimination of any bed shortage identified and must also provide101 for program enhancements to ensure that residential group care102 programs meet a minimum level of expected performance and103 provide for expansion of the comprehensive residential group104 care services described in s. 409.1676. Annual appropriation105 increases appropriated in the lump-sum appropriation must be106 used in accordance with the provisions of the spending plan.107 (d) Funds from “Special Categories: Grants and Aids108 Specialized Residential Group Care Services” may be used as one109 time startup funding for residential group care purposes that110 include, but are not limited to, remodeling or renovation of111 existing facilities, construction costs, leasing costs, purchase112 of equipment and furniture, site development, and other113 necessary and reasonable costs associated with the startup of114 facilities or programs upon the recommendation of the lead115 community-based provider if one exists and upon specific116 approval of the terms and conditions by the secretary of the117 department.118 Section 2. Section 409.144, Florida Statutes, is created to 119 read: 120 409.144 Continuum of care; residential group home care.— 121 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.— 122 (a) The Legislature finds that children in out-of-home care 123 should live in their communities in home-based family care 124 settings and that the need to recruit, train, and support an 125 adequate number of families to provide home-based family care is 126 an essential part of any initiative to reform out-of-home care 127 for children. 128 (b) The Legislature also finds that children who initially 129 cannot be safely placed in home-based family care may be still 130 placed into residential group home care, but for only the 131 minimum time required for stabilization and with specific short 132 time-limited plans for their care. When needed, residential 133 group home care should be considered a short-term, specialized, 134 and intensive intervention that is just one part of a continuum 135 of care available for children. 136 (c) The Legislature further finds that, once stabilized, 137 most children should transition from residential group home care 138 into home-based family care with their services following them. 139 (d) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to 140 support an effort to reform the current system of using 141 residential group home care that reflects current research 142 findings and the appropriate place of residential group home 143 care in the child welfare system continuum of care. It is 144 further the intent of the Legislature that the reform effort 145 provides for improved assessments of children and families to 146 make more informed and appropriate initial placement decisions, 147 an emphasis on home-based family care placements for children, 148 appropriate support for those placements with available 149 services, a change in goals for residential group home care 150 placements, and increased transparency and accountability for 151 child outcomes. 152 (2) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—The department shall collect 153 and compile data and information necessary to inform the 154 development of a work plan to be used by the Continuum of Care 155 Advisory Council created in subsection (3) to address the 156 placement and services needs of children who are cared for in 157 out-of-home care. At a minimum, the collected and compiled data 158 and information must include current data and information 159 related to all of the following: 160 (a) Methods of assessing children coming into care for 161 their initial placement. 162 (b) Definitions and characteristics of types of placements 163 in use. 164 (c) Service needs of children in out-of-home care. 165 (d) Program design and quality standards. 166 (e) Licensing categories and accreditation requirements for 167 types of out-of-home placements. 168 (f) Rates and procedures used for payment rate setting. 169 (g) Outcomes, outcome indicators and performance measures. 170 (h) Impact of existing performance measures. 171 (i) Mechanisms that ensure continuous quality improvement 172 and transition strategies from group care to other levels of 173 care. 174 (3) CONTINUUM OF CARE ADVISORY COUNCIL.—The Continuum of 175 Care Advisory Council is created within the department for the 176 purpose of recommending a plan to address the placement and 177 service needs of children who are cared for outside their own 178 homes by creating a continuum of care which consists of 179 recruiting, training, and supporting an adequate supply of home 180 based family care; providing needed services and supports in 181 those family care settings; and limiting congregate care to only 182 those situations in which adequate services cannot be safely 183 provided while a child lives with a family, and for only the 184 minimum amount of time required for stabilization. The work of 185 the advisory council shall be conducted in collaboration with 186 the primary stakeholders and shall be based on empirical 187 research and best practices data. The process must include 188 gathering research data, holding public meetings, and entering 189 into partnerships with academia and other stakeholders to 190 complete the task. The advisory council shall function as 191 specified in this subsection until the Legislature determines 192 that the advisory council can no longer provide a valuable 193 contribution to the department’s efforts to create a continuum 194 of care. 195 (a) The 25 members of the advisory council must be 196 appointed in the following manner: 197 1. Three members from the headquarters and regional offices 198 of the department, to be appointed by the secretary. 199 2. One member with recognized expertise in developmental 200 psychology, to be appointed by the secretary. 201 3. One member with expertise in children’s mental health, 202 to be appointed by the secretary. 203 4. One member with expertise in children’s health issues, 204 to be appointed by the secretary. 205 5. One member who is an economist with expertise in 206 behavioral economics, to be appointed by the secretary. 207 6. Two members from the community-based care lead agencies, 208 one from the lead agency with the lowest rate and one from the 209 lead agency with the highest rate of residential group home 210 placement, to be appointed by the secretary. 211 7. One member with experience working with children with 212 special needs in residential group home settings, to be 213 appointed by the secretary. 214 8. Two members who are foster parents, to be appointed by 215 the executive director of the Florida State Foster/Adoptive 216 Parent Association. 217 9. Two members who are kinship caregivers, to be appointed 218 by the secretary. 219 10. One member from the Quality Parenting Initiative, to be 220 appointed by the secretary. 221 11. Three members who are residential group home providers, 222 representing different models of residential group home care and 223 who are involved in daily operation of the facilities, to be 224 appointed by the secretary. 225 12. Two members from Florida Youth SHINE, to be appointed 226 by the secretary. 227 13. One member from Florida’s Children First, to be 228 appointed by the secretary. 229 14. One member from the Agency for Persons with 230 Disabilities, to be appointed by the director of the agency. 231 15. One member from the Department of Juvenile Justice, to 232 be appointed by the Secretary of Juvenile Justice. 233 16. One member from the Department of Education, to be 234 appointed by the Commissioner of Education. 235 17. One member from the Florida Institute for Child 236 Welfare, to be appointed by the secretary. 237 (b) The advisory council is encouraged to work with any 238 additional individuals who are knowledgeable in the subject 239 areas; however, those additional individuals may not become 240 members of the council and may not vote on the final report and 241 recommendations of the council, but may submit reports and 242 recommendations for review by the council and may be invited to 243 speak to the council by a member of the council. 244 (c) Nongovernmental members of the advisory council shall 245 serve without compensation but are entitled to receive per diem 246 and travel expenses in accordance with s. 112.061 while in 247 performance of their duties. 248 (d) The advisory council shall propose a timeline and work 249 plan for reform and an estimate of associated costs and shall 250 submit the proposal and estimate of costs to the Governor, the 251 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 252 Representatives by December 31, 2016. At a minimum, the proposal 253 must consider the following: 254 1. The impact of group care on children based on their age 255 and history based on an impartial compilation of research 256 related to residential group care. 257 2. Criteria for admission to residential group care and the 258 types of assessments that should be performed to determine 259 whether the admission criteria are being met and who should 260 perform the assessments. 261 3. Policies and procedures needed to ensure that placement 262 in a residential group care is appropriate for each specific 263 child and lasts only as long as necessary to resolve the issue 264 that required the placement. 265 4. Services that are currently available for children in 266 group placements and the types of services that could be 267 provided to eliminate the need for group care. 268 5. The need to develop a classification system for group 269 care. 270 6. Requirements needed in plans for children in group care 271 to transition to family placement. 272 7. The role of state licensing in determining the quality 273 of care and the need for a new licensing category or categories 274 to better meet the needs of the children in out-of-home care. 275 8. The value of requiring group home accreditation by a 276 national accrediting body. 277 9. The need to plan for any change in federal funding for 278 long-term residential group care. 279 10. Current practices related to the use of residential 280 group home care in order to develop a framework that can be used 281 to transition residential group homes into short-term, 282 specialized, and intensive treatment providers used for the 283 minority of children who cannot safely be served in home-based 284 family care settings. 285 11. Age limitations that should be placed on group care 286 based on developmental research. 287 12. Comparison of cost of group care placement and family 288 based care, and what economic and other incentives exist for 289 placement of children in group care. 290 13. Alternate funding mechanisms for children placed in 291 residential group home care. 292 14. Adjustments to funding to encourage placement in home 293 based family care settings. 294 15. Standards that should be in effect to ensure that group 295 home staff has adequate training, experience, and supervision to 296 provide therapeutic care to children and youth in the 297 facilities. 298 (e) The department shall provide administrative support to 299 the advisory council to accomplish its assigned tasks. The 300 advisory council shall have access to all appropriate data from 301 the department, each community-based care lead agency, and other 302 relevant agencies in order to accomplish the tasks set forth in 303 this section. The data collected by the advisory council may not 304 include information that would identify a specific child or 305 young adult. 306 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015. 307 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 308 And the title is amended as follows: 309 Delete everything before the enacting clause 310 and insert: 311 A bill to be entitled 312 An act relating to continuum of care for children; 313 amending s. 39.523, F.S.; removing a requirement that 314 the Department of Children and Families submit a 315 report annually to the Legislature on the placement of 316 children in licensed residential group care; removing 317 a provision requiring the department to provide a 318 detailed account of certain expenditures; removing 319 provisions regarding implementation and specified 320 annual funding; creating s. 409.144, F.S.; providing 321 legislative findings and intent; requiring the 322 department to collect and compile specified data and 323 information; creating the Continuum of Care Advisory 324 Council within the department for specified purposes; 325 providing duties of the council; requiring the members 326 of the advisory council to be appointed in specified 327 manners; authorizing the advisory council to work with 328 certain individuals and providing limitations on the 329 involvement of those individuals; providing per diem 330 and travel expenses for certain members; requiring the 331 advisory council to submit specified information to 332 the Governor and the Legislature by a certain date; 333 requiring the department to provide administrative 334 support to the advisory council; requiring that the 335 advisory council have access to specified information; 336 prohibiting certain data from including information 337 that would identify specific individuals; providing an 338 effective date.