Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 200
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/03/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs
       (Passidomo) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    6         Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created
    7  to read:
    8         409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for
    9  children not in the child welfare system.— The Legislature finds
   10  that in circumstances in which a parent of a minor child is
   11  temporarily unable to provide care for the child, but does not
   12  need the full support of the child welfare system, a less
   13  intrusive alternative to supervision by the department or
   14  involvement by the judiciary should be available.
   15         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   16         (a) “Qualified association” means an association that:
   17         1. Publishes and requires compliance with its standards and
   18  files copies thereof with the department as provided in s.
   19  409.176(5)(b); and
   20         2. Establishes, publishes, and requires compliance with
   21  best practice standards for operating a program that assists
   22  parents in providing temporary respite care for a child by a
   23  volunteer respite family.
   24         (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization”
   25  means a Florida private nonprofit organization that assists
   26  parents in providing temporary respite care for a child by a
   27  volunteer respite family under an agreement with a qualified
   28  association.
   29         (c) “Temporary respite care” means care provided to a child
   30  by a volunteer respite family in their home for a period of time
   31  that is not to exceed 90 days in order to provide temporary
   32  relief to parents who are unable to care for a child.
   33         (d) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or a
   34  family who voluntarily agrees to provide without compensation,
   35  temporary care for a period of time no longer than 90 days for a
   36  child under a contract for care with the child’s parent with the
   37  assistance of a qualified nonprofit organization.
   38         (2) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROGRAM.— A qualified nonprofit
   39  organization may establish a program that assists parents in
   40  providing temporary respite care for a child by a volunteer
   41  respite family.
   42         (a) A child is eligible for the program if he or she:
   43         1. Has not been removed from the child’s parent due to
   44  abuse or neglect and placed in the custody of the department;
   45         2. Is not the subject of an ongoing department
   46  investigation of abuse, abandonment, or neglect;
   47         3. Has not been the subject of a verified report of abuse,
   48  abandonment or neglect; or
   49         4. Is the subject of an open court in-home dependency case
   50  and under protective supervision of the department.
   51         (b) Placement of a child under this section, in the absence
   52  of evidence to the contrary, does not constitute abuse, neglect,
   53  or abandonment as defined in s. 39.01 and is not considered to
   54  be placement of the child in foster care. However, the
   55  department may refer a child to an organization’s program if the
   56  department determines that the needs of the child or the needs
   57  of the child’s parent do not require an out-of-home safety plan
   58  pursuant to s. 39.301(9) or other formal involvement of the
   59  department and that the child and the child’s family may benefit
   60  from the temporary respite care and services provided by the
   61  organization.
   63  qualified nonprofit organization that provides temporary respite
   64  care to children under this section shall:
   65         (a) Establish its program under an agreement or
   66  certification with a qualified association.
   67         (b) Verify that the department has conducted background
   68  screenings under s. 409.175 and chapter 435 of the following
   69  persons before such persons have contact with a child:
   70         1. Employees of the organization who will have direct
   71  contact with children while assisting parents in providing
   72  temporary respite care.
   73         2. Members of the volunteer respite family and persons
   74  residing in the volunteer respite home who are 12 years of age
   75  or older. However, members of a volunteer respite family and
   76  persons residing in the volunteer respite home who are between
   77  the ages of 12 years and 18 years are not required to be
   78  fingerprinted but must be screened for delinquency records.
   79         (c) Train all volunteer respite families. The training must
   80  include:
   81         1. A discussion of the rights, duties, and limitations in
   82  providing temporary care for a child;
   83         2. An overview of program processes, including intake
   84  triage processes;
   85         3. Working with third party service providers, including
   86  schools and medical professionals;
   87         4. General safety requirements, including the prevention of
   88  sudden unexplained death syndrome, proper supervision of
   89  children, and water and pool safety;
   90         5. Instruction on appropriate and constructive disciplinary
   91  practices, including the prohibition of physical punishment and
   92  discipline that is severe, humiliating, or frightening, or is
   93  associated with the deprivation of food, rest, or toileting;
   94         6. Abuse and maltreatment reporting requirements, including
   95  proper cooperation with the department;
   96         7. Confidentiality; and
   97         8. Building a healthy relationship with a child’s parents.
   98         (d) Be solely responsible for ongoing supervision of each
   99  child placed with a volunteer respite family.
  100         (e) Maintain records on each volunteer respite family and
  101  96 child served, including, but not limited to:
  102         1. The name and age of the child;
  103         2. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and
  104  other contact information for the child’s parents;
  105         3. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and
  106  other contact information for the child’s volunteer respite
  107  family;
  108         4. A copy of the contract for care executed pursuant to
  109  this section; and
  110         5. Proof that the volunteer respite family has met all the
  111  personnel screening requirements conducted by the
  112  departmentunder this section.
  113         (f) Provide the following information to the department on
  114  an annual basis:
  115         1. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and
  116  other contact information of the organization.
  117         2. The name of the organization’s director.
  118         3. The names and addresses of the officers and members of
  119  the governing body.
  120         4. The total number of volunteer respite families currently
  121  working with the organization and the total number of children
  122  who were provided temporary respite care in the previous fiscal
  123  year.
  124         5. A copy of its agreement or certification with a
  125  qualified association for the purpose of providing volunteer
  126  respite services pursuant to this section.
  127         (g) Provide the qualified association with data and other
  128  information as required by the qualified association to
  129  demonstrate that the qualified nonprofit organization is in
  130  substantial compliance with the minimum best practice standards
  131  published by the qualified association.
  132         (h) Immediately notify the department of any suspected or
  133  confirmed incident of abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment of a
  134  child while in the care of a volunteer respite family.
  135         (i) Make available to the department or qualified
  136  association at any time for inspection all records relating to
  137  the program and children cared for by the organization’s
  138  volunteer respite families to ensure compliance with this
  139  section and standards established by any entity with which the
  140  organization is affiliated.
  141         (3) CONTRACT FOR CARE.— All parents of a child must enter
  142  into a written contract with the qualified association for the
  143  provision of temporary respite care of the child under this
  144  section. The contract for care may not exceed 90 days in
  145  duration and may not be extended.
  146         (a) The contract must be executed before, or at the time,
  147  the child is placed with a volunteer respite family and
  148  organization. Through the contract for care, the parent may
  149  delegate to the volunteer respite family any of the powers
  150  regarding the care and custody of the child, except the power to
  151  consent to the marriage or adoption of the child, the
  152  performance or inducement of an abortion on the child, or the
  153  termination of parental rights regarding the child.
  154  Authorization for the volunteer respite family to consent to
  155  routine and emergency medical care on behalf of the parent shall
  156  be granted only upon the separate consent of the parent pursuant
  157  to s. 743.0645. The contract for care must at a minimum:
  158         1. Be signed by the parent or both parents if both parents
  159  are living and have shared responsibility and timesharing of the
  160  child pursuant to law or a court order. Notification to a parent
  161  whose parental rights have been terminated is not required.
  162         2. Be signed by all members of the volunteer respite family
  163  who are 18 years of age or older.
  164         3. Be signed by the representative of the organization who
  165  assisted with the child’s placement with the volunteer respite
  166  family.
  167         4. Be signed by two subscribing witnesses.
  168         (b) The contract for care must include:
  169         1. A statement that the contract does not deprive the
  170  parent of any parental or legal authority regarding the care and
  171  custody of the child or supersede a court order regarding the
  172  care and custody of the child.
  173         2. A statement that the contract may be revoked or
  174  withdrawn at any time by the parent and that custody of the
  175  child shall be returned to the parent as soon as reasonably
  176  possible.
  177         3. The basic services and accommodations provided by the
  178  volunteer respite family and organization.
  179         4. Identification of the child, the parent, and the members
  180  of the volunteer respite family, including contact information
  181  for all parties.
  182         5. Identification of the organization, including contact
  183  information for the organization and the representative who
  184  assisted with the child’s placement.
  185         6. A statement regarding disciplinary procedures that are
  186  used by the volunteer respite family and expectations regarding
  187  interactions between the volunteer respite family and the child.
  188  The statement must identify the child’s known behavioral or
  189  emotional issues and how such issues are addressed by the
  190  child’s parent.
  191         7. A statement of the minimum expected frequency of contact
  192  between the parent and the child, expectations for the volunteer
  193  respite family to facilitate any reasonable request for contact
  194  with the child outside of the established schedule, and the
  195  minimum expected frequency of contact between the parent and the
  196  volunteer respite family to discuss the child’s well-being and
  197  health.
  198         8. A statement regarding the child’s educational needs,
  199  including the name and address of the child’s school and the
  200  names of the child’s teachers.
  201         9. A list of extracurricular, religious, or community
  202  activities and programs in which the child participates.
  203         10. A list of any special dietary or nutritional
  204  requirements of the child.
  205         11. A description of the child’s medical needs, including
  206  any diagnoses, allergies, therapies, treatments, or medications
  207  prescribed to the child and the expectations for the volunteer
  208  respite family to address such medical needs.
  209         12. A statement that the volunteer respite family agrees to
  210  act in the best interests of the child and to consider all
  211  reasonable wishes and expectations of the parent concerning the
  212  care and comfort of the child.
  213         13. A statement that all appropriate members of the
  214  volunteer respite family have successfully met the personnel
  215  screening requirements pursuant to paragraph )(b).
  216         14. An expiration date for each contract for care, which
  217  may not exceed 90 days in duration.
  218         15. A statement that the goal of the organization,
  219  volunteer respite family, and parent is to return the child
  220  receiving temporary respite care to the parent as soon as the
  221  situation requiring such care has been resolved.
  222         16. A requirement that the volunteer respite family
  223  immediately notify the parent of the child’s need for medical
  224  care.
  225         (c) The parent may revoke or withdraw the contract for care
  226  at any time, and the child shall be returned immediately to the
  227  custody of the parent. A contract for care executed under this
  228  section expires automatically after 90 days and may not operate
  229  to deprive a parent of any parental or legal authority regarding
  230  the care and custody of the child or supersede a court order
  231  regarding the care and custody of the child.
  232         (d)If all parents do not sign the contract for care, the
  233  organization must, prior to the child’s placement with a
  234  voluntary respite family:
  235         1. Secure a notarized Consent for Placement with Volunteer
  236  Respite Family executed by the parent who did not sign the
  237  contract for care. The Consent for Placement with Volunteer
  238  Respite Family must contain each term set forth in the contract
  239  for care as required in this subsection and an advisory that the
  240  parent may elect to object to the contract for care and take
  241  custody of the child pursuant to the provision of Florida law,
  242  or
  243         2. Personally serve the parent who did not sign the
  244  contract for care with a Petition for Dependency pursuant to
  245  Chapter 39 setting forth grounds to establish that the parent
  246  has abandoned, abused or neglected the child.
  247         (4) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Any organization that is
  248  registered with a qualified association shall immediately notify
  249  the department if it has in its care:
  250         (a) A child with a serious developmental disability or a
  251  physical, emotional, or mental handicap for which the
  252  organization is not qualified or able to provide care; or
  253         (b) A child who has not been returned to a parent when the
  254  contract expires.
  255         (5) APPLICABILITY.—Placement of a child under this section
  256  without additional evidence does not constitute abandonment,
  257  abuse, or neglect, as defined in s. 39.01, and is not considered
  258  to be placement of the child in foster care.
  259  However, nothing in this section prevents the department or a
  260  law enforcement agency from investigating allegations of
  261  abandonment, abuse, neglect, unlawful desertion of a child, or
  262  human trafficking.
  263         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
  264  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  265  And the title is amended as follows:
  266         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  267  and insert:
  268                        A bill to be entitled                      
  269         An act relating to the temporary respite care of a
  270         child; creating s. 409.1761, F.S.; providing
  271         legislative findings; providing definitions;
  272         authorizing qualified nonprofit organizations to
  273         establish programs to provide temporary respite care
  274         for children; providing duties and recordkeeping
  275         requirements for such organizations; providing
  276         screening requirements for certain persons; requiring
  277         notification to the Department of Children and
  278         Families under certain circumstances; authorizing a
  279         volunteer respite family to enter into a contract for
  280         care to provide temporary respite care for a child;
  281         specifying the duration of a contract for care;
  282         specifying the form and execution of the contract;
  283         authorizing inspection of documents by the Department
  284         of Children and Families; providing eligibility;
  285         authorizing the department to refer a child for such
  286         care; providing applicability;; providing an effective
  287         date.