Florida Senate - 2016 SENATOR AMENDMENT
Bill No. CS/CS/HB 599, 1st Eng.
Senate . House
Floor: 1/AD/2R . Floor: SENAT/CA
03/03/2016 11:20 AM . 03/11/2016 10:13 AM
Senator Detert moved the following:
1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
3 Delete everything after the enacting clause
4 and insert:
5 Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 39.013, Florida
6 Statutes, is amended to read:
7 39.013 Procedures and jurisdiction; right to counsel.—
8 (2) The circuit court has exclusive original jurisdiction
9 of all proceedings under this chapter, of a child voluntarily
10 placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child
11 placing agency, or the department, and of the adoption of
12 children whose parental rights have been terminated under this
13 chapter. Jurisdiction attaches when the initial shelter
14 petition, dependency petition, or termination of parental rights
15 petition, or a petition for an injunction to prevent child abuse
16 issued pursuant to s. 39.504, is filed or when a child is taken
17 into the custody of the department. The circuit court may assume
18 jurisdiction over any such proceeding regardless of whether the
19 child was in the physical custody of both parents, was in the
20 sole legal or physical custody of only one parent, caregiver, or
21 some other person, or was not in the physical or legal custody
22 of any person when the event or condition occurred that brought
23 the child to the attention of the court. When the court obtains
24 jurisdiction of any child who has been found to be dependent,
25 the court shall retain jurisdiction, unless relinquished by its
26 order, until the child reaches 21 years of age, or 22 years of
27 age if the child has a disability, with the following
29 (a) If a young adult chooses to leave foster care upon
30 reaching 18 years of age.
31 (b) If a young adult does not meet the eligibility
32 requirements to remain in foster care under s. 39.6251 or
33 chooses to leave care under that section.
34 (c) If a young adult petitions the court at any time before
35 his or her 19th birthday requesting the court’s continued
36 jurisdiction, the juvenile court may retain jurisdiction under
37 this chapter for a period not to exceed 1 year following the
38 young adult’s 18th birthday for the purpose of determining
39 whether appropriate services that were required to be provided
40 to the young adult before reaching 18 years of age have been
42 (d) If a petition for special immigrant juvenile status and
43 an application for adjustment of status have been filed on
44 behalf of a foster child and the petition and application have
45 not been granted by the time the child reaches 18 years of age,
46 the court may retain jurisdiction over the dependency case
47 solely for the purpose of allowing the continued consideration
48 of the petition and application by federal authorities. Review
49 hearings for the child shall be set solely for the purpose of
50 determining the status of the petition and application. The
51 court’s jurisdiction terminates upon the final decision of the
52 federal authorities. Retention of jurisdiction in this instance
53 does not affect the services available to a young adult under s.
54 409.1451. The court may not retain jurisdiction of the case
55 after the immigrant child’s 22nd birthday.
56 Section 2. Subsection (11) of section 39.2015, Florida
57 Statutes, is amended to read:
58 39.2015 Critical incident rapid response team.—
59 (11) The secretary shall appoint an advisory committee made
60 up of experts in child protection and child welfare, including
61 the Statewide Medical Director for Child Protection under the
62 Department of Health, a representative from the institute
63 established pursuant to s. 1004.615, an expert in organizational
64 management, and an attorney with experience in child welfare, to
65 conduct an independent review of investigative reports from the
66 critical incident rapid response teams and to make
67 recommendations to improve policies and practices related to
68 child protection and child welfare services. The advisory
69 committee shall meet at least once each quarter and shall submit
70 quarterly reports to the secretary
which include findings and
71 recommendations. The quarterly reports must include findings and
72 recommendations and must describe the implementation status of
73 all recommendations contained within the advisory committee
74 reports, including an entity’s reason for not implementing a
75 recommendation, if applicable. The secretary shall submit each
76 report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
77 Speaker of the House of Representatives.
78 Section 3. Paragraphs (f) and (h) of subsection (8) of
79 section 39.402, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
80 39.402 Placement in a shelter.—
82 (f) At the shelter hearing, the department shall inform the
83 court of:
84 1. Any identified current or previous case plans negotiated
85 under this chapter in any judicial circuit district with the
86 parents or caregivers under this chapter and problems associated
87 with compliance;
88 2. Any adjudication of the parents or caregivers of
90 3. Any past or current injunction for protection from
91 domestic violence or any past or current order of no contact;
93 4. All of the child’s places of residence during the prior
94 12 months.
95 (h) The order for placement of a child in shelter care must
96 identify the parties present at the hearing and must contain
97 written findings:
98 1. That placement in shelter care is necessary based on the
99 criteria in subsections (1) and (2).
100 2. That placement in shelter care is in the best interest
101 of the child.
102 3. That continuation of the child in the home is contrary
103 to the welfare of the child because the home situation presents
104 a substantial and immediate danger to the child’s physical,
105 mental, or emotional health or safety which cannot be mitigated
106 by the provision of safety management preventive services.
107 4. That based upon the allegations of the petition for
108 placement in shelter care, there is probable cause to believe
109 that the child is dependent or that the court needs additional
110 time, which may not exceed 72 hours, in which to obtain and
111 review documents pertaining to the family in order to
112 appropriately determine whether placement in shelter care is
113 necessary to ensure the child’s safety risk to the child.
114 5. That the department has made reasonable efforts to
115 prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the
116 home. A finding of reasonable effort by the department to
117 prevent or eliminate the need for removal may be made and the
118 department is deemed to have made reasonable efforts to prevent
119 or eliminate the need for removal if:
120 a. The first contact of the department with the family
121 occurs during an emergency;
122 b. The appraisal of the home situation by the department
123 indicates that the home situation presents a substantial and
124 immediate danger to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional
125 health or safety which cannot be mitigated by the provision of
126 safety management preventive services, including issuance of an
127 injunction against a perpetrator of domestic violence pursuant
128 to s. 39.504;
129 c. The child cannot safely remain at home, either because
130 there are no safety management preventive services that can
131 ensure the health and safety of the child or because, even with
132 appropriate and available services being provided, the health
133 and safety of the child cannot be ensured; or
134 d. The parent or legal custodian is alleged to have
135 committed any of the acts listed as grounds for expedited
136 termination of parental rights in s. 39.806(1)(f)-(i).
137 6. That the department has made reasonable efforts to keep
138 siblings together if they are removed and placed in out-of-home
139 care unless such placement is not in the best interest of each
140 child. It is preferred that siblings be kept together in a
141 foster home, if available. Other reasonable efforts shall
142 include short-term placement in a group home with the ability to
143 accommodate sibling groups if such a placement is available. The
144 department shall report to the court its efforts to place
145 siblings together unless the court finds that such placement is
146 not in the best interest of a child or his or her sibling.
147 7. That the court notified the parents, relatives that are
148 providing out-of-home care for the child, or legal custodians of
149 the time, date, and location of the next dependency hearing and
150 of the importance of the active participation of the parents,
151 relatives that are providing out-of-home care for the child, or
152 legal custodians in all proceedings and hearings.
153 8. That the court notified the parents or legal custodians
154 of their right to counsel to represent them at the shelter
155 hearing and at each subsequent hearing or proceeding, and the
156 right of the parents to appointed counsel, pursuant to the
157 procedures set forth in s. 39.013.
158 9. That the court notified relatives who are providing out
159 of-home care for a child as a result of the shelter petition
160 being granted that they have the right to attend all subsequent
161 hearings, to submit reports to the court, and to speak to the
162 court regarding the child, if they so desire.
163 Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
164 39.521, Florida Statutes, is amended, and present paragraphs (b)
165 through (f) of that subsection are redesignated as paragraphs
166 (c) through (g), respectively, to read:
167 39.521 Disposition hearings; powers of disposition.—
168 (1) A disposition hearing shall be conducted by the court,
169 if the court finds that the facts alleged in the petition for
170 dependency were proven in the adjudicatory hearing, or if the
171 parents or legal custodians have consented to the finding of
172 dependency or admitted the allegations in the petition, have
173 failed to appear for the arraignment hearing after proper
174 notice, or have not been located despite a diligent search
175 having been conducted.
176 (a) A written case plan and a predisposition study prepared
177 by an authorized agent of the department must be approved by
178 filed with the court. The department must file the case plan and
179 the predisposition study with the court, serve a copy of the
180 case plan on , served upon the parents of the child, and provide
181 a copy of the case plan provided to the representative of the
182 guardian ad litem program, if the program has been appointed,
183 and provided to all other parties:
184 1. Not less than 72 hours before the disposition hearing,
185 if the disposition hearing occurs on or after the 60th day after
186 the date the child was placed in out-of-home care. All such case
187 plans must be approved by the court.
188 2. Not less than 72 hours before the case plan acceptance
189 hearing, if the disposition hearing occurs before the 60th day
190 after the date the child was placed in out-of-home care and a
191 case plan has not been submitted pursuant to this paragraph, or
192 if the court does not approve the case plan at the disposition
193 hearing. The case plan acceptance hearing must occur , the court
194 must set a hearing within 30 days after the disposition hearing
195 to review and approve the case plan.
196 (b) The court may grant an exception to the requirement for
197 a predisposition study by separate order or within the judge’s
198 order of disposition upon finding that all the family and child
199 information required by subsection (2) is available in other
200 documents filed with the court.
201 Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 39.522, Florida
202 Statutes, is amended to read:
203 39.522 Postdisposition change of custody.—The court may
204 change the temporary legal custody or the conditions of
205 protective supervision at a postdisposition hearing, without the
206 necessity of another adjudicatory hearing.
207 (2) In cases where the issue before the court is whether a
208 child should be reunited with a parent, the court shall
209 determine whether the circumstances that caused the out-of-home
210 placement and issues subsequently identified have been remedied
211 parent has substantially complied with the terms of the case
212 plan to the extent that the return of the child to the home with
213 an in-home safety plan will not be detrimental to the child’s
214 safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional health
215 of the child is not endangered by the return of the child to the
217 Section 6. Section 39.6011, Florida Statutes, is amended to
219 (Substantial rewording of section. See
220 s. 39.6011, F.S., for present text.)
221 39.6011 Case plan purpose; requirements; procedures.—
222 (1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the case plan is to promote and
223 facilitate change in parental behavior and to address the
224 treatment and long-term well-being of children receiving
225 services under this chapter.
226 (2) GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.—The department shall draft a case
227 plan for each child receiving services under this chapter. The
228 case plan must:
229 (a) Document that an assessment of the service needs of the
230 child and family, and preventive services, if appropriate, have
231 been provided pursuant to s. 409.143 and that reasonable efforts
232 to prevent out-of-home placement have been made.
233 (b) Be developed in a face-to-face conference with the
234 parent of the child, any court-appointed guardian ad litem, the
235 child’s attorney, and, if appropriate, the temporary custodian
236 of the child. The parent may receive assistance from any person
237 or social service agency in preparing the case plan. The social
238 service agency, the department, and the court, when applicable,
239 shall inform the parent of the right to receive such assistance,
240 including the right to assistance of counsel.
241 (c) Be written simply and clearly in English and, if
242 English is not the principal language of the child’s parent, in
243 the parent’s principal language, to the extent practicable.
244 (d) Describe a process for making available to all physical
245 custodians and family services counselors the information
246 required by s. 39.6012(2) and for ensuring that this information
247 follows the child until permanency has been achieved.
248 (e) Specify the period of time for which the case plan is
249 applicable, which must be as short a period as possible for the
250 parent to comply with the terms of the plan. The case plan’s
251 compliance period expires no later than 12 months after the date
252 the child was initially removed from the home, the date the
253 child is adjudicated dependent, or the date the case plan is
254 accepted by the court, whichever occurs first.
255 (f) Be signed by all of the parties. Signing the case plan
256 constitutes an acknowledgment by each of the parties that they
257 have been involved in the development of the case plan and that
258 they are in agreement with the terms and conditions contained in
259 the case plan. The refusal of a parent to sign the case plan
260 does not preclude the court’s acceptance of the case plan if it
261 is otherwise acceptable to the court. The parent’s signing of
262 the case plan does not constitute an admission to any allegation
263 of abuse, abandonment, or neglect and does not constitute
264 consent to a finding of dependency or termination of parental
265 rights. The department shall explain the provisions of the case
266 plan to all persons involved in its implementation, before the
267 signing of the plan.
268 (3) PARTICIPATION BY THE CHILD.—If the child has attained
269 14 years of age or is otherwise of an appropriate age and
270 capacity, the child must:
271 (a) Be consulted on the development of the case plan; have
272 the opportunity to attend a face-to-face conference, if
273 appropriate; have the opportunity to express a placement
274 preference; and have the option to choose two members for the
275 case planning team who are not a foster parent or caseworker for
276 the child.
277 1. An individual selected by a child to be a member of the
278 case planning team may be rejected at any time if there is good
279 cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best
280 interest of the child. One individual selected by a child to be
281 a member of the child’s case planning team may be designated to
282 be the child’s advisor and, as necessary, advocate with respect
283 to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard
284 to the child.
285 2. The child may not be included in an aspect of the case
286 planning process when information will be revealed or discussed
287 which is of a nature that would best be presented to the child
288 in a more therapeutic setting.
289 (b) Sign the case plan, unless there is reason to waive the
290 child’s signature.
291 (c) Receive an explanation of the provisions of the case
292 plan from the department.
293 (d) After the case plan is agreed upon and signed by all of
294 the parties, and after jurisdiction attaches and the case plan
295 is filed with the court, be provided a copy of the case plan
296 within 72 hours before the disposition hearing.
297 (e) Notwithstanding s. 39.202, the department may discuss
298 confidential information during the case planning conference in
299 the presence of individuals who participate in the staffing. All
300 individuals who participate in the staffing shall maintain the
301 confidentiality of all information shared during the case
302 planning staffing.
303 (4) NOTICE TO PARENTS.—The case plan must document that
304 each parent has been advised of the following by written notice:
305 (a) That he or she may not be coerced or threatened with
306 the loss of custody or parental rights for failing to admit the
307 abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child in the case plan.
308 Participation in the development of a case plan is not an
309 admission to any allegation of abuse, abandonment, or neglect
310 and does not constitute consent to a finding of dependency or
311 termination of parental rights.
312 (b) That the department must document a parent’s
313 unwillingness or inability to participate in developing a case
314 plan and provide such documentation in writing to the parent
315 when it becomes available for the court record. In such event,
316 the department shall prepare a case plan that, to the extent
317 possible, conforms with the requirements of this section. The
318 parent must also be advised that his or her unwillingness or
319 inability to participate in developing a case plan does not
320 preclude the filing of a petition for dependency or for
321 termination of parental rights. If the parent is available, the
322 department shall provide a copy of the case plan to the parent
323 and advise him or her that, at any time before the filing of a
324 petition for termination of parental rights, he or she may enter
325 into a case plan and that he or she may request judicial review
326 of any provision of the case plan with which he or she disagrees
327 at any court hearing set for the child.
328 (c) That his or her failure to substantially comply with
329 the case plan may result in the termination of parental rights
330 and that a material breach of the case plan may result in the
331 filing of a petition for termination of parental rights before
332 the scheduled completion date.
333 (5) DISTRIBUTION AND FILING WITH THE COURT.—The department
334 shall adhere to the following procedural requirements in
335 developing and distributing a case plan:
336 (a) After the case plan has been agreed upon and signed by
337 the parties, a copy of the case plan must immediately be given
338 to the parties and to other persons, as directed by the court.
339 (b) In each case in which a child has been placed in out
340 of-home care, a case plan must be prepared within 60 days after
341 the department removes the child from the home and must be
342 submitted to the court for review and approval before the
343 disposition hearing.
344 (c) After jurisdiction attaches, all case plans must be
345 filed with the court and a copy provided to all of the parties
346 whose whereabouts are known not less than 72 hours before the
347 disposition hearing. The department shall file with the court
348 all case plans prepared before jurisdiction of the court
349 attaches, and the department shall provide copies of all such
350 case plans to all of the parties.
351 (d) A case plan must be prepared, but need not be submitted
352 to the court, for a child who will be in care for 30 days or
353 less unless that child is placed in out-of-home care for a
354 second time within a 12-month period.
355 Section 7. Section 39.6012, Florida Statutes, is amended to
357 (Substantial rewording of section. See
358 s. 39.6012, F.S., for present text.)
359 39.6012 Services and parental tasks under the case plan;
360 safety, permanency, and well-being of the child.—The case plan
361 must include a description of the identified problem that is
362 being addressed, including the parent’s behavior or acts that
363 have resulted in a threat to the safety of the child and the
364 reason for the department’s intervention. The case plan must be
365 designed to improve conditions in the child’s home to facilitate
366 the child’s safe return and ensure proper care of the child, or
367 to facilitate the child’s permanent placement. The services
368 offered must be as unobtrusive as possible in the lives of the
369 parent and the child, must focus on clearly defined objectives,
370 and must provide the most timely and efficient path to
371 reunification or permanent placement, given the circumstances of
372 the case and the child’s need for safe and proper care.
373 (1) CASE PLAN SERVICES AND TASKS.—The case plan must be
374 based upon an assessment of the circumstances that required
375 intervention by the child welfare system. The case plan must
376 describe the role of the foster parents or legal custodians and
377 must be developed in conjunction with the determination of the
378 services that are to be provided under the case plan to the
379 child, foster parents, or legal custodians. If a parent’s
380 substantial compliance with the case plan requires the
381 department to provide services to the parent or the child and
382 the parent agrees to begin compliance with the case plan before
383 it is accepted by the court, the department shall make
384 appropriate referrals for services which will allow the parent
385 to immediately begin the agreed-upon tasks and services.
386 (a) Itemization in the case plan.—The case plan must
387 describe each of the tasks that the parent must complete and the
388 services that will be provided to the parent, in the context of
389 the identified problem, including:
390 1. The type of services or treatment that will be provided.
391 2. If the service is being provided by the department or
392 its agent, the date the department will provide each service or
393 referral for service.
394 3. The date by which the parent must complete each task.
395 4. The frequency of services or treatment to be provided,
396 which shall be determined by the professionals providing the
397 services and may be adjusted as needed based on the best
398 professional judgment of the providers.
399 5. The location of the delivery of the services.
400 6. Identification of the staff of the department or of the
401 service provider who are responsible for the delivery of
402 services or treatment.
403 7. A description of measurable outcomes, including the
404 timeframes specified for achieving the objectives of the case
405 plan and addressing the identified problem.
406 (b) Meetings with case manager.—The case plan must include
407 a schedule of the minimum number of face-to-face meetings to be
408 held each month between the parent and the case manager to
409 review the progress of the case plan, eliminate barriers to
410 completion of the plan, and resolve conflicts or disagreements.
411 (c) Request for notification from relative.—The case
412 manager shall advise the attorney for the department of a
413 relative’s request to receive notification of proceedings and
414 hearings submitted pursuant to s. 39.301(14)(b).
415 (d) Financial support.—The case plan must specify the
416 parent’s responsibility for the financial support of the child,
417 including, but not limited to, health insurance and child
418 support. The case plan must list the costs associated with any
419 services or treatment that the parent and child are expected to
420 receive which are the financial responsibility of the parent.
421 The determination of child support and other financial support
422 must be made independently of any determination of dependency
423 under s. 39.013.
424 (2) SAFETY, PERMANENCY, AND WELL-BEING OF THE CHILD.—The
425 case plan must include all available information that is
426 relevant to the child’s care, including a detailed description
427 of the identified needs of the child while in care and a
428 description of the plan for ensuring that the child receives
429 safe and proper care that is appropriate to his or her needs.
430 Participation by the child must meet the requirements under s.
432 (a) Placement.—To comply with federal law, the department
433 must ensure that the placement of a child in foster care is in
434 the least restrictive, most family-like environment; must review
435 the family assessment, safety plan, and case plan for the child
436 to assess the necessity for and the appropriateness of the
437 placement; must assess the progress that has been made toward
438 case plan outcomes; and must project a likely date by which the
439 child may be safely reunified or placed for adoption or legal
440 guardianship. The family assessment must indicate the type of
441 placement to which the child has been assigned and must document
442 the following:
443 1. That the child has undergone the placement assessments
444 required pursuant to s. 409.143.
445 2. That the child has been placed in the least restrictive
446 and most family-like setting available consistent with the best
447 interest and special needs of the child and in as close
448 proximity as possible to the child’s home.
449 3. If the child is placed in a setting that is more
450 restrictive than recommended by the placement assessments or is
451 placed more than 50 miles from the child’s home, the reasons for
452 which the placement is necessary and in the best interest of the
453 child and the steps required to place the child in the placement
454 recommended by the assessment.
455 4. If residential group care is recommended for the child,
456 the needs of the child which necessitate such placement, the
457 plan for transitioning the child to a family setting, and the
458 projected timeline for the child’s transition to a less
459 restrictive environment.
460 5. If the child is placed in residential group care, that
461 his or her case plan is reviewed and updated within 90 days
462 after the child’s admission to the residential group care
463 facility and at least every 60 days thereafter.
464 (b) Permanency.—If reunifying a child with his or her
465 family is not possible, the department shall make every effort
466 to provide other forms of permanency, such as adoption or
467 guardianship. If a child is placed in an out-of-home placement,
468 the case plan, in addition to any other requirements imposed by
469 law or department rule, must include:
470 1. If concurrent planning is being used, a description of
471 the permanency goal of reunification with the parent or legal
472 custodian and a description of one of the remaining permanency
473 goals defined in s. 39.01; or, if concurrent case planning is
474 not being used, an explanation as to why it is not being used.
475 2. If the case plan has as its goal the adoption of the
476 child or his or her placement in another permanent home, a
477 statement of the child’s wishes regarding his or her permanent
478 placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes. The
479 case plan must also include documentation of the steps the
480 social service agency is taking to find an adoptive family or
481 other permanent living arrangements for the child; to place the
482 child with an adoptive family, an appropriate and willing
483 relative, or a legal guardian; and to finalize the adoption or
484 legal guardianship. At a minimum, the documentation must include
485 child-specific recruitment efforts, such as the use of state,
486 regional, and national adoption exchanges, including electronic
487 exchange systems, after he or she has become legally eligible
488 for adoption.
489 3. If the child has been in out-of-home care for at least
490 12 months and the permanency goal is not adoptive placement, the
491 documentation of the compelling reason for a finding that
492 termination of parental rights is not in the child’s best
494 (c) Education.—A case plan must ensure the educational
495 stability of the child while in foster care. To the extent
496 available and accessible, the names and addresses of the child’s
497 educational providers, a record of his or her grade level
498 performance, and his or her school record must be attached to
499 the case plan and updated throughout the judicial review
500 process. The case plan must also include documentation that the
502 1. Takes into account the appropriateness of the current
503 educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the
504 child is enrolled at the time of placement.
505 2. Has been coordinated with appropriate local educational
506 agencies to ensure that the child remains in the school in which
507 the child is enrolled at the time of placement or, if remaining
508 in that school is not in the best interest of the child,
509 assurances by the department and the local education agency to
510 provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school and
511 to provide all of the child’s educational records to the new
513 (d) Health care.—To the extent that they are available and
514 accessible, the names and addresses of the child’s health and
515 behavioral health providers, a record of the child’s
516 immunizations, the child’s known medical history, including any
517 known health issues, the child’s medications, and any other
518 relevant health and behavioral health information must be
519 attached to the case plan and updated throughout the judicial
520 review process.
521 (e) Contact with family, extended family, and fictive kin.
522 When out-of-home placement is made, the case plan must include
523 provisions for the development and maintenance of sibling
524 relationships and visitation, if the child has siblings and is
525 separated from them, a description of the parent’s visitation
526 rights and obligations, and a description of any visitation
527 rights with extended family members as defined in s. 751.011. As
528 used in this paragraph, the term “fictive kin” means individuals
529 who are unrelated to the child by birth or marriage, but who
530 have an emotionally significant relationship with the child
531 which would take on the characteristics of a family
532 relationship. As soon as possible after a court order is
533 entered, the following must be provided to the child’s out-of
534 home caregiver:
535 1. Information regarding any court-ordered visitation
536 between the child and the parents and the court-ordered terms
537 and conditions necessary to facilitate the visits and protect
538 the safety of the child.
539 2. Information regarding the schedule and frequency of the
540 visits between the child and his or her siblings, as well as any
541 court-ordered terms and conditions necessary to facilitate the
542 visits and protect the safety of the child.
543 3. Information regarding the schedule and frequency of the
544 visits between the child and any extended family member or
545 fictive kin, as well as any court-ordered terms and conditions
546 necessary to facilitate the visits and protect the safety of the
548 (f) Independent living.—
549 1. When appropriate, the case plan for a child who is 13
550 years of age or older must include a written description of the
551 life skills services to be provided by the caregiver which will
552 assist the child, consistent with his or her best interests, in
553 preparing for the transition from foster care to independent
554 living. The case plan must be developed with the child and
555 individuals identified as important to the child and must
556 include the steps the social service agency is taking to ensure
557 that the child has a connection with a caring adult.
558 2. During the 180-day period after a child reaches 17 years
559 of age, the department and the community-based care provider, in
560 collaboration with the caregiver and any other individual whom
561 the child would like to include, shall assist the child in
562 developing a transition plan pursuant to s. 39.6035, which is in
563 addition to standard case management requirements. The
564 transition plan must address specific options that the child may
565 use in obtaining services, including housing, health insurance,
566 education, and workforce support and employment services. The
567 transition plan must also consider establishing and maintaining
568 naturally occurring mentoring relationships and other personal
569 support services. The transition plan may be as detailed as the
570 child chooses and must be attached to the case plan and updated
571 before each judicial review.
572 Section 8. Subsection (4) of section 39.6035, Florida
573 Statutes, is amended to read:
574 39.6035 Transition plan.—
575 (4) If a child is planning to leave care upon reaching 18
576 years of age, The transition plan must be approved by the court
577 before the child attains 18 years of age and must be attached to
578 the case plan and updated before each judicial review child
579 leaves care and the court terminates jurisdiction.
580 Section 9. Subsection (2) of section 39.621, Florida
581 Statutes, is amended, and present subsections (3) through (11)
582 of that section are redesignated as subsections (4) through
583 (12), respectively, to read:
584 39.621 Permanency determination by the court.—
585 (2) The permanency goal of maintaining and strengthening
586 the placement with a parent may be used in the following
588 (a) If a child has not been removed from a parent but is
589 found to be dependent, even if adjudication of dependency is
590 withheld, the court may leave the child in the current placement
591 with maintaining and strengthening the placement as a permanency
593 (b) If a child has been removed from a parent and is placed
594 with the parent from whom the child was not removed, the court
595 may leave the child in the placement with the parent from whom
596 the child was not removed with maintaining and strengthening the
597 placement as a permanency option.
598 (c) If a child has been removed from a parent and is
599 subsequently reunified with that parent, the court may leave the
600 child with that parent with maintaining and strengthening the
601 placement as a permanency option.
602 (3) Except as provided in subsection (2), the permanency
603 goals available under this chapter, listed in order of
604 preference, are:
605 (a) Reunification;
606 (b) Adoption, if a petition for termination of parental
607 rights has been or will be filed;
608 (c) Permanent guardianship of a dependent child under s.
610 (d) Permanent placement with a fit and willing relative
611 under s. 39.6231; or
612 (e) Placement in another planned permanent living
613 arrangement under s. 39.6241.
614 Section 10. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (2) of
615 section 39.701, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
616 39.701 Judicial review.—
617 (2) REVIEW HEARINGS FOR CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 YEARS OF
619 (a) Social study report for judicial review.—Before every
620 judicial review hearing or citizen review panel hearing, the
621 social service agency shall make an investigation and social
622 study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and
623 shall furnish to the court or citizen review panel a written
624 report that includes, but is not limited to:
625 1. A description of the type of placement the child is in
626 at the time of the hearing, including the safety of the child,
627 and the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
628 placement, and that the placement is in the least restrictive
629 and most family-like setting that meets the assessed needs of
630 the child, or an explanation of why the placement is not in the
631 least restrictive and most family-like setting available that
632 meets the assessed needs of the child.
633 2. Documentation of the diligent efforts made by all
634 parties to the case plan to comply with each applicable
635 provision of the case plan.
636 3. The amount of fees assessed and collected during the
637 period of time being reported.
638 4. The services provided to the foster family or legal
639 custodian in an effort to address the needs of the child as
640 indicated in the case plan.
641 5. A statement that either:
642 a. The parent, though able to do so, did not comply
643 substantially with the case plan, and the agency
645 b. The parent did substantially comply with the case plan;
647 c. The parent has partially complied with the case plan,
648 with a summary of additional progress needed and the agency
650 6. A statement of whether the circumstances that caused the
651 out-of-home placement and issues subsequently identified have
652 been remedied to the extent that the return of the child to the
653 home with an in-home safety plan will not be detrimental to the
654 child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional
656 7. 6. A statement from the foster parent or legal custodian
657 providing any material evidence concerning the return of the
658 child to the parent or parents.
659 8. 7. A statement concerning the frequency, duration, and
660 results of the parent-child visitation, if any, and the agency
661 recommendations for an expansion or restriction of future
663 9. 8. The number of times a child has been removed from his
664 or her home and placed elsewhere, the number and types of
665 placements that have occurred, and the reason for the changes in
667 10. 9. The number of times a child’s educational placement
668 has been changed, the number and types of educational placements
669 which have occurred, and the reason for any change in placement.
670 11. 10. If the child has reached 13 years of age but is not
671 yet 18 years of age, a statement from the caregiver on the
672 progress the child has made in acquiring independent living
674 12. 11. Copies of all medical, psychological, and
675 educational records that support the terms of the case plan and
676 that have been produced concerning the parents or any caregiver
677 since the last judicial review hearing.
678 13. 12. Copies of the child’s current health, mental health,
679 and education records as identified in s. 39.6012.
680 (d) Orders.—
681 1. Based upon the criteria set forth in paragraph (c) and
682 the recommended order of the citizen review panel, if any, the
683 court shall determine whether or not the social service agency
684 shall initiate proceedings to have a child declared a dependent
685 child, return the child to the parent, continue the child in
686 out-of-home care for a specified period of time, or initiate
687 termination of parental rights proceedings for subsequent
688 placement in an adoptive home. Amendments to the case plan must
689 be prepared as prescribed in s. 39.6013. If the court finds that
690 remaining in the home with an in-home safety plan will not be
691 detrimental to the child’s safety, well-being, and physical,
692 mental, and emotional health the prevention or reunification
693 efforts of the department will allow the child to remain safely
694 at home or be safely returned to the home, the court shall allow
695 the child to remain in or return to the home after making a
696 specific finding of fact that the reasons for the creation of
697 the case plan have been remedied to the extent that the child’s
698 safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional health
699 will not be endangered.
700 2. The court shall return the child to the custody of the
701 parents at any time it determines that the circumstances that
702 caused the out-of-home placement and issues subsequently
703 identified have been remedied to the extent that the return of
704 the child to the home with an in-home safety plan they have
705 substantially complied with the case plan, if the court is
706 satisfied that reunification will not be detrimental to the
707 child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional
709 3. If, in the opinion of the court, the social service
710 agency has not complied with its obligations as specified in the
711 written case plan, the court may find the social service agency
712 in contempt, shall order the social service agency to submit its
713 plans for compliance with the agreement, and shall require the
714 social service agency to show why the child could not safely be
715 returned to the home of the parents.
716 4. If possible, the court shall order the department to
717 file a written notification before a child changes placements or
718 living arrangements. If such notification is not possible before
719 the change, the department must file a notification immediately
720 after a change. A written notification filed with the court must
721 include assurances from the department that the provisions of s.
722 409.145 and administrative rule relating to placement changes
723 have been met.
724 5. 4. If, at any judicial review, the court finds that the
725 parents have failed to substantially comply with the case plan
726 to the degree that further reunification efforts are without
727 merit and not in the best interest of the child, on its own
728 motion, the court may order the filing of a petition for
729 termination of parental rights, whether or not the time period
730 as contained in the case plan for substantial compliance has
732 6. 5. Within 6 months after the date that the child was
733 placed in shelter care, the court shall conduct a judicial
734 review hearing to review the child’s permanency goal as
735 identified in the case plan. At the hearing the court shall make
736 findings regarding the likelihood of the child’s reunification
737 with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
738 removal of the child from the home. If the court makes a written
739 finding that it is not likely that the child will be reunified
740 with the parent or legal custodian within 12 months after the
741 child was removed from the home, the department must file with
742 the court, and serve on all parties, a motion to amend the case
743 plan under s. 39.6013 and declare that it will use concurrent
744 planning for the case plan. The department must file the motion
745 within 10 business days after receiving the written finding of
746 the court. The department must attach the proposed amended case
747 plan to the motion. If concurrent planning is already being
748 used, the case plan must document the efforts the department is
749 taking to complete the concurrent goal.
750 7. 6. The court may issue a protective order in assistance,
751 or as a condition, of any other order made under this part. In
752 addition to the requirements included in the case plan, the
753 protective order may set forth requirements relating to
754 reasonable conditions of behavior to be observed for a specified
755 period of time by a person or agency who is before the court;
756 and the order may require any person or agency to make periodic
757 reports to the court containing such information as the court in
758 its discretion may prescribe.
759 Section 11. Section 409.143, Florida Statutes, is created
760 to read:
761 409.143 Assessment of children in out-of-home placement.—
762 (1) NEEDS ASSESSMENT.—
763 (a) Each child placed in out-of-home care shall be referred
764 by the department for a comprehensive behavioral health
765 assessment within 7 days after the child enters out-of-home
767 (b) The comprehensive assessment shall measure the
768 strengths and needs of the child and family and provide
769 recommendations for developing the case plan to ensure that the
770 child has the services and supports that are necessary to
771 maintain the child in the least restrictive out-of-home care
772 setting, promote the child’s well-being, accomplish family
773 preservation and reunification, and facilitate permanency
775 (c) Completion of the comprehensive assessment must occur
776 within 30 days after the child enters out-of-home care.
777 (d) Upon receipt of a child’s completed comprehensive
778 assessment, the child’s case manager shall review the assessment
779 and document whether a less restrictive, more family-like
780 setting for the child is recommended and available. The
781 department shall document determinations resulting from the
782 comprehensive assessment in the Florida Safe Families Network
783 and update the case plan to include identified needs of the
784 child and specified services and supports to be provided in the
785 out-of-home care placement setting to meet the assessed needs of
786 the child. The case manager shall refer the child and family for
787 all services identified through a comprehensive assessment. The
788 planned services shall be implemented within 30 days after the
789 child’s needs are identified. If services are not initiated
790 within 30 days, the case manager shall document reasons in the
791 case file as to why services were not initiated.
792 (e) The department and the community-based care lead agency
793 may conduct additional assessments of a child in out-of-home
794 care if necessary.
795 (2) CHILDREN IN GROUP CARE WITH A RESIDENTIAL CHILD-CARING
797 (a) Within 30 days after a placement of a child in group
798 care with a residential child-caring agency, a qualified
799 individual shall make an assessment, using a validated and
800 evidence-based assessment tool, and determine whether or not the
801 child’s needs can be met with family members or in a family
802 foster home and if not, which of the approved foster care
803 placement settings would provide a more effective and
804 appropriate level of care. The assessment must be done in
805 conjunction with a permanency team that must be established by
806 the department or the community-based care lead agency that
807 places children pursuant to this section. The team must include
808 a representative from the community-based care lead agency, the
809 caseworker for the child, the out-of-home care provider, the
810 guardian ad litem, any provider of services to the child,
811 teachers, clergy, relatives, and fictive kin.
812 (b) Within 60 days after a placement of a child in group
813 care with a residential child-caring agency, a court must review
814 the assessment and approve or disapprove the placement. At each
815 judicial review and permanency, the department shall demonstrate
816 why the child cannot be served in a family foster home,
817 demonstrate why the placement in group care with a residential
818 child-caring agency continues to be necessary and consistent
819 with the child’s short and long-term goals, and document efforts
820 to step the child down into a more family-like setting.
821 (c) If it is determined during any assessment that a child
822 may be suitable for residential treatment as defined in s.
823 39.407, the procedures in that section must be followed.
824 (3) ANNUAL REPORT.—By October 1 of each year, the
825 department shall report to the Governor, the President of the
826 Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the
827 placement of children in licensed out-of-home care, including
828 family foster homes and residential group care, during the year.
829 At a minimum, the report must include:
830 (a) The number of children placed in family foster homes
831 and residential group care.
832 (b) The number of children placed outside of the county,
833 outside of the circuit, and outside of the region in which they
834 were removed from their homes.
835 (c) The number of children who had to change schools as a
836 result of a placement decision.
837 (d) The use of each type of placement setting on a local,
838 regional, and statewide level.
839 (e) An inventory of services available, by community-based
840 care lead agency, which are necessary to maintain children in
841 the least restrictive settings.
842 (f) An inventory of permanency teams that are created by
843 each community-based care lead agency and the progress made by
844 each lead agency to use those teams.
845 Section 12. Section 409.144, Florida Statutes, is created
846 to read:
847 409.144 Continuum of care for children.—
848 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—
849 (a) The Legislature finds that permanency, well-being, and
850 safety are critical goals for all children, especially for those
851 in care, and that children in foster care or at risk of entering
852 foster care are best supported through a continuum of care that
853 provides appropriate ongoing services, supports, and a place to
854 live from entry to exit.
855 (b) The Legislature also finds that federal law requires
856 that out-of-home placements for children be in the least
857 restrictive, most family-like setting available which is in
858 close proximity to the home of their parents and consistent with
859 the best interests and needs of the child, and that children be
860 transitioned from out-of-home care to a permanent home in a
861 timely manner.
862 (c) The Legislature further finds that permanency can be
863 achieved through preservation of the family, through
864 reunification with the birth family, or through legal
865 guardianship or adoption by relatives or other caring and
866 committed adults. Planning for permanency should begin at entry
867 into care and should be child-driven, family-focused, culturally
868 appropriate, and continuous and approached with the highest
869 degree of urgency.
870 (d) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that
871 the department and the larger child welfare community establish
872 and maintain a continuum of care that affords every child the
873 opportunity to benefit from the most appropriate and least
874 restrictive interventions, both in or out of the home, while
875 ensuring that well-being and safety are addressed.
876 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
877 (a) “Continuum of care” means the complete range of
878 programs, services, and placement options for children served
879 by, or at risk of being served by, the dependency system.
880 (b) “Family foster care” means a family foster home as
881 defined in s. 409.175.
882 (c) “Level of care” means a tiered approach to the type of
883 placements used and the acuity and intensity of intervention
884 services provided to meet the severity of a dependent child’s
885 specific physical, emotional, psychological, and social needs.
886 (d) “Out-of-home care” means the placement of a child in
887 licensed and nonlicensed settings, arranged and supervised by
888 the department or contracted service provider, outside the home
889 of the parent.
890 (e) “Residential group care” means a 24-hour, live-in
891 environment that provides supervision, care, and services to
892 meet the physical, emotional, social, and life skills needs of
893 children served by the dependency system. Services may be
894 provided by residential group care staff who are qualified to
895 perform the needed services or by a community-based service
896 provider with clinical expertise, credentials, and training to
897 provide services to the children being served.
898 (3) DEVELOPMENT OF CONTINUUM OF CARE.—The department, in
899 collaboration with the Florida Institute for Child Welfare and
900 other stakeholders, shall develop a continuum of care for the
901 placement of children in care, including, but not limited to,
902 both family foster care and residential group care. Stakeholders
903 involved in the development of the continuum of care must
904 include representatives from providers, child advocates,
905 children who are currently in care, and young adults who have
906 aged out of care. To implement the continuum of care, the
907 department shall, by December 31, 2017:
908 (a) Establish levels of care in the continuum of care which
909 are clearly and concisely defined with the qualifying criteria
910 for placement for each level of care identified.
911 (b) Revise licensure standards and rules to reflect the
912 supports and services provided by a placement at each level of
913 care and the complexity of the needs of the children served.
914 Revisions must include attention to the need for a particular
915 category of provider in a community before licensure may be
916 considered, the quality standards of operation which must be met
917 by all licensed providers, the numbers and qualifications of
918 staff which are adequate to effectively address the issues and
919 meet the needs of the children that the staff’s facility seeks
920 to serve, and a well-defined process tied to specific criteria
921 which leads to licensure suspension or revocation.
922 (c) Develop policies and procedures necessary to ensure
923 that placement in any level of care is appropriate for each
924 specific child, is determined by the required assessments and
925 staffing, and lasts only as long as necessary to resolve the
926 issue that required the placement.
927 (d) Develop a plan to recruit and retain specialized
928 placements that may be appropriate and necessary for the
930 1. Placements for pregnant and parenting children and young
931 adults must include family foster homes that are designed to
932 provide an out-of-home placement option for young parents and
933 their children to enable them to live in the same family foster
934 home while caring for their children and working toward
935 independent care of the child.
936 2. Placements for sibling groups must be family foster
937 homes or residential group homes designed to keep sibling groups
938 together unless such placements are not in the best interest of
939 each child.
940 3. Young adults who have chosen to remain in foster care
941 after the age of 18 and need independent living arrangements
942 that provide services and case management.
943 4. Children who are involved in both the dependency and the
944 juvenile justice systems. A plan for living arrangements and
945 access to services for these children shall be developed by the
946 department, in collaboration with the Department of Juvenile
948 (4) QUALITY RATING SYSTEM.—By June 30, 2017, the department
949 shall develop, in collaboration with lead agencies, service
950 providers, and other community stakeholders, a statewide quality
951 rating system for providers of residential group care. This
952 system must promote high quality in services and accommodations
953 by creating measurable minimum quality standards. Domains
954 addressed by a quality rating system for residential group care
955 may include, but are not limited to, admissions, service
956 planning and treatment planning, living environment, and program
957 and service requirements. The system must be implemented by July
958 1, 2018, and must include:
959 (a) Delineated levels of quality which are clearly and
960 concisely defined, including the domains measured and criteria
961 that must be met to be placed in each level of quality.
962 (b) A well-defined process for notice, inspection,
963 remediation, appeal, and enforcement.
964 (5) REPORTING REQUIREMENT.—The department shall submit a
965 report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the
966 Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1 of each
967 year, with the first report due October 1, 2016. At a minimum,
968 the report must include the following:
969 (a) An update on the development of the continuum of care
970 required by this section.
971 (b) An inventory of existing placements for children by
972 type and by community-based care lead agency.
973 (c) An inventory of existing services available by
974 community-based care lead agency and a plan for filling any
975 identified gap, as well as a determination of what services are
976 available that can be provided to children in family foster care
977 without having to move the child to a more restrictive
979 (d) The strategies being used by community-based care lead
980 agencies to recruit, train, and support an adequate number of
981 families to provide home-based family care.
982 (e) For every placement of a child made which is contrary
983 to an appropriate placement as determined by the assessment
984 process in s. 409.143, an explanation from the community-based
985 care lead agency as to why the placement was made.
986 (f) The strategies being used by the community-based care
987 lead agencies to reduce the high percentage of turnover in
989 (g) A plan for oversight by the department over the
990 implementation of the continuum of care by the community-based
991 care lead agencies.
992 (h) An update on the development of a statewide quality
993 rating system for residential group care and family foster
994 homes, and in 2018 and subsequent years, a list of providers
995 meeting minimum quality standards and their quality ratings, the
996 percentage of children placed in residential group care with
997 highly rated providers, any negative action taken against
998 contracted providers for not meeting minimum quality standards,
999 and a plan for department oversight of the implementation of the
1000 statewide quality rating system for residential group care by
1001 the community-based lead agencies.
1002 (6) RULEMAKING.—The department shall adopt rules to
1003 implement this section.
1004 Section 13. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
1005 409.1451, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1006 409.1451 The Road-to-Independence Program.—
1007 (3) AFTERCARE SERVICES.—
1008 (a) Aftercare services are available to a young adult who
1009 was living in licensed care on his or her 18th birthday, who has
1010 reached 18 years of age but is not yet 23 years of age, and who
1012 1. Not in foster care.
1013 2. Temporarily not receiving financial assistance under
1014 subsection (2) to pursue postsecondary education.
1015 Section 14. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
1016 409.986, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1017 409.986 Legislative findings and intent; child protection
1018 and child welfare outcomes; definitions.—
1019 (3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this part, except as otherwise
1020 provided, the term:
1021 (a) “Care” means services of any kind which are designed to
1022 facilitate a child remaining safely in his or her own home,
1023 returning safely to his or her own home if he or she is removed
1024 from the home, or obtaining an alternative permanent home if he
1025 or she cannot remain at home or be returned home. The term
1026 includes, but is not limited to, prevention, intervention,
1027 diversion, and related services.
1028 Section 15. Subsection (3) of section 409.988, Florida
1029 Statutes, is amended to read:
1030 409.988 Lead agency duties; general provisions.—
1031 (3) SERVICES.—
1032 (a) General services.—
1033 1. A lead agency must provide dependent children with
1034 services that are supported by research or that are recognized
1035 as best practices in the child welfare field. The agency shall
1036 give priority to the use of services that are evidence-based and
1037 trauma-informed and may also provide other innovative services,
1038 including, but not limited to, family-centered and cognitive
1039 behavioral interventions designed to mitigate out-of-home
1041 2. A lead agency must ensure the availability of a full
1042 array of services to address the complex needs of all children,
1043 adolescents, parents, and caregivers served within its local
1044 system of care and that sufficient flexibility exists within the
1045 service array to adequately match services to the unique
1046 characteristics of families served, including the ages of the
1047 children, cultural considerations, and parental choice.
1048 3. The department shall annually complete an evaluation of
1049 the adequacy of the lead agencies service array, their use of
1050 trauma-informed and evidence-based programming, and the impact
1051 of available services on outcomes for the children served by the
1052 lead agencies and any subcontracted providers of lead agencies.
1053 The evaluation report shall be submitted to the Governor, the
1054 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
1055 Representatives by October 1 of each year.
1056 (b) Intervention services.—
1057 1. Intervention services and supports shall be made
1058 available to a child and the parent of a child who is unsafe but
1059 can, with services, remain in his or her home or to a child who
1060 is placed in out-of-home care and the nonmaltreating parent or
1061 relative or nonrelative caregivers with whom an unsafe child is
1062 placed. Intervention services and supports must include:
1063 a. Safety management services provided to an unsafe child
1064 as part of a safety plan that immediately and actively protects
1065 the child from dangerous threats if the parent or other
1066 caregiver cannot protect the child, including, but not limited
1067 to, behavior management, crisis management, social connection,
1068 resource support, and separation;
1069 b. Treatment services provided to a parent or caregiver
1070 which are used to achieve a fundamental change in behavioral,
1071 cognitive, and emotional functioning associated with the reason
1072 that the child is unsafe, including, but not limited to,
1073 parenting skills training, support groups, counseling, substance
1074 abuse treatment, mental and behavioral health services,
1075 certified domestic violence center services for survivors of
1076 domestic violence and their children, and batterers’
1077 intervention programs that comply with s. 741.325 and other
1078 intervention services for perpetrators of domestic violence;
1079 c. Child well-being services provided to an unsafe child
1080 which address a child’s physical, emotional, developmental, and
1081 educational needs, including, but not limited to, behavioral
1082 health services, substance abuse treatment, tutoring,
1083 counseling, and peer support; and
1084 d. Services provided to nonmaltreating parents or relative
1085 or nonrelative caregivers to stabilize the child’s placement,
1086 including, but not limited to, transportation, clothing,
1087 household goods, assistance with housing and utility payments,
1088 child care, respite care, and assistance connecting families
1089 with other community-based services.
1090 2. A lead agency shall prepare a case plan for each child
1091 and his or her family receiving services and support under this
1092 section. The plan must identify the permanency goal for the
1093 child and list the services and supports provided. Services must
1094 be tied to the placement and permanency goal and must be
1095 specified in advance of delivery. Priority must be given to
1096 services that are evidence-based and trauma-informed.
1097 3. By October 1, 2016, each community-based care lead
1098 agency shall submit a monitoring plan to the department
1099 describing how the lead agency will monitor and oversee the
1100 safety of children who receive intervention services and
1101 supports. The monitoring plan must include a description of
1102 training and support for caseworkers handling intervention
1103 cases, including how caseload size and type will be determined,
1104 managed, and overseen.
1105 4. Beginning October 1, 2016, each community-based care
1106 lead agency shall collect and report annually to the department,
1107 as part of the child welfare results-oriented accountability
1108 program required under s. 409.997, the following with respect to
1109 each child for whom, or on whose behalf, intervention services
1110 and supports are provided:
1111 a. The number of children and families served;
1112 b. The specific services provided and the total
1113 expenditures for each such service;
1114 c. The child’s placement status at the beginning and at the
1115 end of service provision; and
1116 d. The child’s placement status 1 year after the end of
1117 service provision.
1118 5. Outcomes for this subsection shall be included in the
1119 annual report required under s. 409.997.
1120 6. The department shall use programmatic characteristics
1121 and research and evaluation characteristics for well-supported,
1122 promising, and emerging programs and practices to inventory
1123 intervention services and supports by type and by lead agency.
1124 The inventory shall be submitted to the Governor, the President
1125 of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives
1126 by October 1 of each year.
1127 7. The department may adopt rules to implement this
1129 Section 16. Section 409.996, Florida Statutes, is amended
1130 to read:
1131 409.996 Duties of the Department of Children and Families.
1132 The department shall contract for the delivery, administration,
1133 or management of care for children in the child protection and
1134 child welfare system. In doing so, the department retains
1135 responsibility to ensure for the quality of contracted services
1136 and programs and shall ensure that an adequate array of services
1137 are available to be delivered in accordance with applicable
1138 federal and state statutes and regulations.
1139 Section 17. Paragraph (s) of subsection (2) of section
1140 39.202, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1141 39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of
1142 child abuse or neglect.—
1143 (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such
1144 records, excluding the name of the reporter which shall be
1145 released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be granted
1146 only to the following persons, officials, and agencies:
1147 (s) Persons with whom the department is seeking to place
1148 the child or to whom placement has been granted, including
1149 foster parents for whom an approved home study has been
1150 conducted, the designee of a licensed residential child-caring
1151 agency defined group home described in s. 409.175 s. 39.523, an
1152 approved relative or nonrelative with whom a child is placed
1153 pursuant to s. 39.402, preadoptive parents for whom a favorable
1154 preliminary adoptive home study has been conducted, adoptive
1155 parents, or an adoption entity acting on behalf of preadoptive
1156 or adoptive parents.
1157 Section 18. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
1158 39.5085, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1159 39.5085 Relative Caregiver Program.—
1160 (2)(a) The Department of Children and Families shall
1161 establish and operate the Relative Caregiver Program pursuant to
1162 eligibility guidelines established in this section as further
1163 implemented by rule of the department. The Relative Caregiver
1164 Program shall, within the limits of available funding, provide
1165 financial assistance to:
1166 1. Relatives who are within the fifth degree by blood or
1167 marriage to the parent or stepparent of a child and who are
1168 caring full-time for that dependent child in the role of
1169 substitute parent as a result of a court’s determination of
1170 child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and subsequent placement
1171 with the relative under this chapter.
1172 2. Relatives who are within the fifth degree by blood or
1173 marriage to the parent or stepparent of a child and who are
1174 caring full-time for that dependent child, and a dependent half
1175 brother or half-sister of that dependent child, in the role of
1176 substitute parent as a result of a court’s determination of
1177 child abuse, neglect, or abandonment and subsequent placement
1178 with the relative under this chapter.
1179 3. Nonrelatives who are willing to assume custody and care
1180 of a dependent child in the role of substitute parent as a
1181 result of a court’s determination of child abuse, neglect, or
1182 abandonment and subsequent placement with the nonrelative
1183 caregiver under this chapter. The court must find that a
1184 proposed placement under this subparagraph is in the best
1185 interest of the child.
1187 The placement may be court-ordered temporary legal custody to
1188 the relative or nonrelative under protective supervision of the
1189 department pursuant to s. 39.521(1)(c)3. s. 39.521(1)(b)3., or
1190 court-ordered placement in the home of a relative or nonrelative
1191 as a permanency option under s. 39.6221 or s. 39.6231 or under
1192 former s. 39.622 if the placement was made before July 1, 2006.
1193 The Relative Caregiver Program shall offer financial assistance
1194 to caregivers who would be unable to serve in that capacity
1195 without the caregiver payment because of financial burden, thus
1196 exposing the child to the trauma of placement in a shelter or in
1197 foster care.
1198 Section 19. Subsection (11) of section 1002.3305, Florida
1199 Statutes, is amended to read:
1200 1002.3305 College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot
1201 Program for at-risk students.—
1202 (11) STUDENT HOUSING.—Notwithstanding s. 409.176 ss.
1203 409.1677(3)(d) and 409.176 or any other provision of law, an
1204 operator may house and educate dependent, at-risk youth in its
1205 residential school for the purpose of facilitating the mission
1206 of the program and encouraging innovative practices.
1207 Section 20. Section 39.523, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
1208 Section 21. Section 409.141, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
1209 Section 22. Section 409.1676, Florida Statutes, is
1211 Section 23. Section 409.1677, Florida Statutes, is
1213 Section 24. Section 409.1679, Florida Statutes, is
1215 Section 25. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.
1217 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================
1218 And the title is amended as follows:
1219 Delete everything before the enacting clause
1220 and insert:
1221 A bill to be entitled
1222 An act relating to child welfare; amending s. 39.013,
1223 F.S.; extending court jurisdiction to age 22 for young
1224 adults with disabilities in foster care; amending s.
1225 39.2015, F.S.; revising requirements of the quarterly
1226 report submitted by the critical incident response
1227 team advisory committee; amending s. 39.402, F.S.;
1228 revising information that the Department of Children
1229 and Families is required to inform the court at
1230 shelter hearings; revising the written findings
1231 required to be included in an order for placement of a
1232 child in shelter care; amending s. 39.521, F.S.;
1233 revising timelines and distribution requirements for
1234 case plans and predisposition studies; amending s.
1235 39.522, F.S.; providing conditions under which a child
1236 may be returned home with an in-home safety plan;
1237 amending s. 39.6011, F.S.; providing the purpose of a
1238 case plan; requiring a case plan to document that a
1239 preplacement plan has been provided and reasonable
1240 efforts have been made to prevent out-of-home
1241 placement; removing the prohibition of threatening or
1242 coercing a parent with the loss of custody or parental
1243 rights for failing to admit certain actions in a case
1244 plan; providing that a child must be given the
1245 opportunity to review, sign, and receive a copy of his
1246 or her case plan; providing additional requirements
1247 when the child attains a certain age; requiring the
1248 case plan to document that each parent has received
1249 additional written notices; amending s. 39.6012, F.S.;
1250 providing additional requirements for the department
1251 and criteria for a case plan, with regard to
1252 placement, permanency, education, health care, contact
1253 with family, extended family, and fictive kin, and
1254 independent living; amending s. 39.6035, F.S.;
1255 requiring court approval of a transition plan before
1256 the child attains 18 years of age; amending s. 39.621,
1257 F.S.; creating an exception to the order of preference
1258 for permanency goals under ch. 39, F.S., for
1259 maintaining and strengthening the placement;
1260 authorizing the new permanency goal to be used in
1261 specified circumstances; amending s. 39.701, F.S.;
1262 revising the information that must be included in a
1263 specified written report under certain circumstances;
1264 requiring a court, if possible, to order the
1265 department to file a written notification; creating s.
1266 409.143, F.S.; requiring every child placed in out-of
1267 home care to be referred within a certain time for a
1268 comprehensive behavioral health assessment; providing
1269 requirements and procedures for such assessment;
1270 requiring the department or the community-based care
1271 lead agency to establish permanency teams; requiring
1272 an assessment within a certain timeframe from the
1273 beginning of a new placement in group care; providing
1274 for judicial review of certain placements; requiring
1275 the department to submit an annual report to the
1276 Governor and the Legislature on the placement of
1277 children in licensed out-of-home care; creating s.
1278 409.144, F.S.; providing legislative findings and
1279 intent; defining terms; requiring the department to
1280 develop a continuum of care for the placement of
1281 children in care settings; requiring a plan to recruit
1282 and retain specialized placements for specific
1283 children and young adults; requiring the department to
1284 develop a quality rating system for group home and
1285 foster homes; providing requirements for the rating
1286 system; requiring the department to submit a report
1287 annually to the Governor and the Legislature;
1288 requiring the department to adopt rules; amending s.
1289 409.1451, F.S.; requiring that a child be living in
1290 licensed care on or after his or her 18th birthday as
1291 a condition for receiving aftercare services; amending
1292 s. 409.986, F.S., revising the definition of the term
1293 “care”; amending s. 409.988, F.S.; requiring lead
1294 agencies to ensure the availability of a full array of
1295 services; requiring specified intervention services;
1296 requiring the department to submit annually to the
1297 Governor and the Legislature a report that evaluates
1298 the adequacy of intervention services; requiring the
1299 department to adopt rules; amending s. 409.996, F.S.;
1300 requiring the department to ensure quality and
1301 availability of services; amending s. 39.202, F.S.;
1302 conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
1303 amending ss. 39.5085 and 1002.3305, F.S.; conforming
1304 cross-references; repealing s. 39.523, F.S., relating
1305 to the placement of children in residential group
1306 care; repealing s. 409.141, F.S., relating to
1307 equitable reimbursement methodology; repealing s.
1308 409.1676, F.S., relating to comprehensive residential
1309 group care services to children who have extraordinary
1310 needs; repealing s. 409.1677, F.S., relating to model
1311 comprehensive residential services programs; repealing
1312 s. 409.1679, F.S., relating to program requirements
1313 and reimbursement methodology; providing an effective