Florida Senate - 2017 CS for SB 200 By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senators Passidomo and Torres 586-03329-17 2017200c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the temporary respite care of a 3 child; creating s. 409.1761, F.S.; providing 4 legislative findings; providing definitions; 5 authorizing qualified nonprofit organizations to 6 establish programs to provide temporary respite care 7 for children; providing duties and recordkeeping 8 requirements for such organizations; providing 9 screening requirements for certain persons; requiring 10 notification to the Department of Children and 11 Families under certain circumstances; authorizing a 12 volunteer respite family to enter into a contract for 13 care to provide temporary respite care for a child; 14 specifying the duration of a contract for care; 15 specifying the form and execution of the contract; 16 authorizing inspection of documents by the department; 17 providing eligibility; authorizing the department to 18 refer a child for such care; providing applicability; 19 providing an effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created 24 to read: 25 409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for 26 children not in the child welfare system.—The Legislature finds 27 that in circumstances in which a parent of a minor child is 28 temporarily unable to provide care for the child, but does not 29 need the full support of the child welfare system, a less 30 intrusive alternative to supervision by the department or 31 involvement by the judiciary should be available. 32 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 33 (a) “Qualified association” means an association that: 34 1. Publishes and requires compliance with its standards and 35 files copies thereof with the department as provided in s. 36 409.176(5)(b); and 37 2. Establishes, publishes, and requires compliance with 38 best practice standards for operating a program that assists 39 parents in providing temporary respite care for a child by a 40 volunteer respite family. 41 (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization” 42 means a Florida private nonprofit organization that assists 43 parents in providing temporary respite care for a child by a 44 volunteer respite family under an agreement with a qualified 45 association. 46 (c) “Temporary respite care” means care provided to a child 47 by a volunteer respite family in their home for a period of time 48 that is not to exceed 90 days in order to provide temporary 49 relief to parents who are unable to care for a child. 50 (d) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or a 51 family who voluntarily agrees to provide, without compensation, 52 temporary care for a period of time no longer than 90 days for a 53 child under a contract for care with the child’s parent with the 54 assistance of a qualified nonprofit organization. 55 (2) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROGRAM.—A qualified nonprofit 56 organization may establish a program that assists parents in 57 providing temporary respite care for a child by a volunteer 58 respite family. 59 (a) A child is eligible for the program if he or she: 60 1. Has not been removed from the child’s parent due to 61 abuse or neglect and placed in the custody of the department; 62 2. Is not the subject of an ongoing department 63 investigation of abuse, abandonment, or neglect; 64 3. Has not been the subject of a verified report of abuse, 65 abandonment or neglect; or 66 4. Is not the subject of an open court in-home dependency 67 case and under protective supervision of the department. 68 (b) Placement of a child under this section, in the absence 69 of evidence to the contrary, does not constitute abuse, neglect, 70 or abandonment as defined in s. 39.01 and is not considered to 71 be placement of the child in foster care. However, the 72 department may refer a child to an organization’s program if the 73 department determines that the needs of the child or the needs 74 of the child’s parent do not require an out-of-home safety plan 75 pursuant to s. 39.301(9) or other formal involvement of the 76 department and that the child and the child’s family may benefit 77 from the temporary respite care and services provided by the 78 organization. 79 (3) DUTIES OF A QUALIFIED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.—A 80 qualified nonprofit organization that provides temporary respite 81 care to children under this section shall: 82 (a) Establish its program under an agreement or 83 certification with a qualified association. 84 (b) Verify that the department has conducted background 85 screenings under s. 409.175 and chapter 435 of the following 86 persons before such persons have contact with a child: 87 1. Employees of the organization who will have direct 88 contact with children while assisting parents in providing 89 temporary respite care. 90 2. Members of the volunteer respite family and persons 91 residing in the volunteer respite home who are 12 years of age 92 or older. However, members of a volunteer respite family and 93 persons residing in the volunteer respite home who are between 94 the ages of 12 years and 18 years are not required to be 95 fingerprinted but must be screened for delinquency records. 96 (c) Train all volunteer respite families. The training must 97 include: 98 1. A discussion of the rights, duties, and limitations in 99 providing temporary respite care for a child; 100 2. An overview of program processes, including intake 101 triage processes; 102 3. Working with third-party service providers, including 103 schools and medical professionals; 104 4. General safety requirements, including the prevention of 105 sudden unexpected death syndrome, proper supervision of 106 children, and water and pool safety; 107 5. Instruction on appropriate and constructive disciplinary 108 practices, including the prohibition of physical punishment and 109 discipline that is severe, humiliating, or frightening, or is 110 associated with the deprivation of food, rest, or toileting; 111 6. Abuse and maltreatment reporting requirements, including 112 proper cooperation with the department; 113 7. Confidentiality; and 114 8. Building a healthy relationship with a child’s parents. 115 (d) Be solely responsible for ongoing supervision of each 116 child placed with a volunteer respite family. 117 (e) Maintain records on each volunteer respite family and 118 child served, including, but not limited to: 119 1. The name and age of the child; 120 2. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 121 other contact information for the child’s parents; 122 3. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 123 other contact information for the child’s volunteer respite 124 family; 125 4. A copy of the contract for care executed pursuant to 126 this section; and 127 5. Proof that the volunteer respite family has met all the 128 personnel screening requirements conducted by the department 129 under this section. 130 (f) Provide the following information to the department on 131 an annual basis: 132 1. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 133 other contact information of the organization. 134 2. The name of the organization’s director. 135 3. The names and addresses of the officers and members of 136 the governing body. 137 4. The total number of volunteer respite families currently 138 working with the organization and the total number of children 139 who were provided temporary respite care in the previous fiscal 140 year. 141 5. A copy of its agreement or certification with a 142 qualified association for the purpose of providing volunteer 143 respite services pursuant to this section. 144 (g) Provide the qualified association with data and other 145 information as required by the qualified association to 146 demonstrate that the qualified nonprofit organization is in 147 substantial compliance with the minimum best practice standards 148 published by the qualified association. 149 (h) Immediately notify the department of any suspected or 150 confirmed incident of abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment of a 151 child while in the care of a volunteer respite family. 152 (i) Make available to the department or qualified 153 association at any time for inspection all records relating to 154 the program and children cared for by the organization’s 155 volunteer respite families to ensure compliance with this 156 section and standards established by any entity with which the 157 organization is affiliated. 158 (4) CONTRACT FOR CARE.—All parents of a child must enter 159 into a written contract with the qualified association for the 160 provision of temporary respite care of the child under this 161 section. The contract for care may not exceed 90 days in 162 duration and may not be extended. 163 (a) The contract must be executed before, or at the time, 164 the child is placed with a volunteer respite family and 165 organization. Through the contract for care, the parent may 166 delegate to the volunteer respite family any of the powers 167 regarding the care and custody of the child, except the power to 168 consent to the marriage or adoption of the child, the 169 performance or inducement of an abortion on the child, or the 170 termination of parental rights regarding the child. 171 Authorization for the volunteer respite family to consent to 172 routine and emergency medical care on behalf of the parent shall 173 be granted only upon the separate consent of the parent pursuant 174 to s. 743.0645. The contract for care must at a minimum be 175 signed by: 176 1. The parent or both parents if both parents are living 177 and have shared responsibility and timesharing of the child 178 pursuant to law or a court order. Notification to a parent whose 179 parental rights have been terminated is not required. 180 2. All members of the volunteer respite family who are 18 181 years of age or older. 182 3. The representative of the organization who assisted with 183 the child’s placement with the volunteer respite family. 184 4. Two subscribing witnesses. 185 (b) The contract for care must include: 186 1. A statement that the contract does not deprive the 187 parent of any parental or legal authority regarding the care and 188 custody of the child or supersede a court order regarding the 189 care and custody of the child. 190 2. A statement that the contract may be revoked or 191 withdrawn at any time by the parent and that custody of the 192 child shall be returned to the parent as soon as reasonably 193 possible. 194 3. The basic services and accommodations provided by the 195 volunteer respite family and organization. 196 4. Identification of the child, the parent, and the members 197 of the volunteer respite family, including contact information 198 for all parties. 199 5. Identification of the organization, including contact 200 information for the organization and the representative who 201 assisted with the child’s placement. 202 6. A statement regarding disciplinary procedures that are 203 used by the volunteer respite family and expectations regarding 204 interactions between the volunteer respite family and the child. 205 The statement must identify the child’s known behavioral or 206 emotional issues and how such issues are addressed by the 207 child’s parent. 208 7. A statement of the minimum expected frequency of contact 209 between the parent and the child, expectations for the volunteer 210 respite family to facilitate any reasonable request for contact 211 with the child outside of the established schedule, and the 212 minimum expected frequency of contact between the parent and the 213 volunteer respite family to discuss the child’s well-being and 214 health. 215 8. A statement regarding the child’s educational needs, 216 including the name and address of the child’s school and the 217 names of the child’s teachers. 218 9. A list of extracurricular, religious, or community 219 activities and programs in which the child participates. 220 10. A list of any special dietary or nutritional 221 requirements of the child. 222 11. A description of the child’s medical needs, including 223 any diagnoses, allergies, therapies, treatments, or medications 224 prescribed to the child and the expectations for the volunteer 225 respite family to address such medical needs. 226 12. A statement that the volunteer respite family agrees to 227 act in the best interests of the child and to consider all 228 reasonable wishes and expectations of the parent concerning the 229 care and comfort of the child. 230 13. A statement that all appropriate members of the 231 volunteer respite family have successfully met the personnel 232 screening requirements pursuant to paragraph (3)(b). 233 14. An expiration date for each contract for care, which 234 may not exceed 90 days in duration. 235 15. A statement that the goal of the organization, 236 volunteer respite family, and parent is to return the child 237 receiving temporary respite care to the parent as soon as the 238 situation requiring such care has been resolved. 239 16. A requirement that the volunteer respite family 240 immediately notify the parent of the child’s need for medical 241 care. 242 (c) The parent may revoke or withdraw the contract for care 243 at any time, and the child shall be returned immediately to the 244 custody of the parent. A contract for care executed under this 245 section expires automatically after 90 days and may not operate 246 to deprive a parent of any parental or legal authority regarding 247 the care and custody of the child or supersede a court order 248 regarding the care and custody of the child. 249 (d) If all parents do not sign the contract for care, the 250 organization must, prior to the child’s placement with a 251 voluntary respite family: 252 1. Secure a notarized consent for placement with a 253 volunteer respite family executed by the parent who did not sign 254 the contract for care. The Consent for Placement with Volunteer 255 Respite Family must contain each term set forth in the contract 256 for care as required in this subsection and an advisory that the 257 parent may elect to object to the contract for care and take 258 custody of the child pursuant to the provision of Florida law; 259 or 260 2. Personally serve the parent who did not sign the 261 contract for care with a petition for dependency pursuant to 262 chapter 39 setting forth grounds to establish that the parent 263 has abandoned, abused, or neglected the child. 264 (5) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.—Any organization that is 265 registered with a qualified association shall immediately notify 266 the department if it has in its care: 267 (a) A child with a serious developmental disability or a 268 physical, emotional, or mental handicap for which the 269 organization is not qualified or able to provide care; or 270 (b) A child who has not been returned to a parent when the 271 contract expires. 272 (6) APPLICABILITY.—Placement of a child under this section 273 without additional evidence does not constitute abandonment, 274 abuse, or neglect, as defined in s. 39.01, and is not considered 275 to be placement of the child in foster care. However, this 276 section does not prevent the department or a law enforcement 277 agency from investigating allegations of abandonment, abuse, 278 neglect, unlawful desertion of a child, or human trafficking. 279 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.