Florida Senate - 2017 CS for CS for SB 200 By the Committees on Judiciary; and Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senators Passidomo and Torres 590-04108-17 2017200c2 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 specifying that a parent may revoke or withdraw the 17 contract for care at any time; requiring the child to 18 be returned immediately to the custody of the parent 19 if the contract is revoked or withdrawn; specifying 20 that such contract expires after a specified 21 timeframe; prohibiting such contract from operating to 22 deprive a parent of certain authority or from 23 superseding certain court orders; notification 24 requirements; providing applicability; providing an 25 effective date. 26 27 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 28 29 Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created 30 to read: 31 409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for 32 children not in the child welfare system.—The Legislature finds 33 that in circumstances in which a parent of a minor child is 34 temporarily unable to provide care for the child, but does not 35 need the full support of the child welfare system, a less 36 intrusive alternative to supervision by the department or 37 involvement by the judiciary should be available. 38 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 39 (a) “Qualified association” means an association that 40 publishes minimum best practice standards for operating a 41 qualified nonprofit organization and establishes and requires 42 compliance with those best practice standards. 43 (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization” 44 means a Florida private nonprofit organization that: 45 1.°Is in compliance with the best practice standards of a 46 qualified association. 47 2.°Assists parents by providing temporary respite care for 48 children through the use of volunteer respite families who are 49 under a contract for care. 50 3.°Provides assistance and support to parents and training 51 and support for volunteer respite families. 52 (c) “Temporary respite care” means care provided to a child 53 by a volunteer respite family in their home for a period of time 54 that is not to exceed 90 days in order to provide temporary 55 relief to parents who are unable to care for a child. 56 (d) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or a 57 family who voluntarily agrees to provide, without compensation, 58 temporary care for a period of time no longer than 90 days for a 59 child under a contract for care with the child’s parent with the 60 assistance of a qualified nonprofit organization. 61 (2) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROGRAM.—A qualified nonprofit 62 organization may establish a program that assists parents in 63 providing temporary respite care for a child by a volunteer 64 respite family. 65 (a) A child is eligible for the program if he or she: 66 1. Has not been removed from the child’s parent due to 67 abuse or neglect and placed in the custody of the department; 68 2. Is not the subject of an ongoing department 69 investigation of abuse, abandonment, or neglect; 70 3. Has not been the subject of a verified report of abuse, 71 abandonment, or neglect; or 72 4. Is not the subject of an open court in-home dependency 73 case and under protective supervision of the department. 74 (b) The department may refer a child to an organization’s 75 program if the department determines that the needs of the child 76 or the needs of the child’s parent do not require an out-of-home 77 safety plan pursuant to s. 39.301(9) or other formal involvement 78 of the department and that the child and the child’s family may 79 benefit from the temporary respite care and services provided by 80 the organization. 81 (3) DUTIES OF A QUALIFIED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.—A 82 qualified nonprofit organization that provides temporary respite 83 care to children under this section shall: 84 (a) Establish its program under an agreement or 85 certification with a qualified association. 86 (b) Verify that the department has conducted background 87 screenings using the level 2 standards for screening under s. 88 409.175 and chapter 435 of the following persons before such 89 persons have contact with a child: 90 1. Employees of the organization who will have direct 91 contact with children while assisting parents in providing 92 temporary respite care. 93 2. Members of the volunteer respite family and persons 94 residing in the volunteer respite home who are 12 years of age 95 or older. However, members of a volunteer respite family and 96 persons residing in the volunteer respite home who are between 97 the ages of 12 years and 18 years are not required to be 98 fingerprinted but must be screened for delinquency records. 99 (c) Train all volunteer respite families. The training must 100 include: 101 1. A discussion of the rights, duties, and limitations in 102 providing temporary respite care for a child; 103 2. An overview of program processes, including intake 104 triage processes; 105 3. Working with third-party service providers, including 106 schools and medical professionals; 107 4. General safety requirements, including the prevention of 108 sudden unexpected death syndrome, proper supervision of 109 children, and water and pool safety; 110 5. Instruction on appropriate and constructive disciplinary 111 practices, including the prohibition of physical punishment and 112 discipline that is severe, humiliating, or frightening, or is 113 associated with the deprivation of food, rest, or toileting; 114 6. Abuse and maltreatment reporting requirements, including 115 proper cooperation with the department; 116 7. Confidentiality; and 117 8. Building a healthy relationship with a child’s parents. 118 (d) Be solely responsible for ongoing supervision of each 119 child placed with a volunteer respite family. 120 (e) Maintain records on each volunteer respite family and 121 child served, including, but not limited to: 122 1. The name and age of the child; 123 2. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 124 other contact information for the child’s parents; 125 3. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 126 other contact information for the child’s volunteer respite 127 family; 128 4. A copy of the contract for care executed pursuant to 129 this section; and 130 5. Proof that the volunteer respite family has met all the 131 personnel screening requirements conducted by the department 132 under this section. 133 (f) Provide the following information to the department on 134 an annual basis: 135 1. The name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and 136 other contact information of the organization. 137 2. The name of the organization’s director. 138 3. The names and addresses of the officers and members of 139 the governing body. 140 4. The total number of volunteer respite families currently 141 working with the organization and the total number of children 142 who were provided temporary respite care in the previous fiscal 143 year. 144 5. A copy of its agreement or certification with a 145 qualified association for the purpose of providing volunteer 146 respite services pursuant to this section. 147 (g) Provide the qualified association with data and other 148 information as required by the qualified association to 149 demonstrate that the qualified nonprofit organization is in 150 substantial compliance with the minimum best practice standards 151 published by the qualified association. 152 (h) Immediately notify the department of any suspected or 153 confirmed incident of abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment of a 154 child while in the care of a volunteer respite family. 155 (i) Make available to the department or qualified 156 association at any time for inspection all records relating to 157 the program and children cared for by the organization’s 158 volunteer respite families to ensure compliance with this 159 section and standards established by any entity with which the 160 organization is affiliated. 161 (4) CONTRACT FOR CARE.—All parents of a child must enter 162 into a written contract with the volunteer respite family for 163 the provision of temporary respite care of the child under this 164 section. The contract for care may not exceed 90 days in 165 duration and may not be extended. 166 (a) The contract must be executed before a volunteer 167 respite family cares for a child. Under a contract for care, the 168 parent may delegate to the volunteer respite family any of the 169 powers regarding the care and custody of the child, except the 170 power to consent to the marriage or adoption of the child, the 171 performance or inducement of an abortion on the child, or the 172 termination of parental rights regarding the child. 173 Authorization for the volunteer respite family to consent to 174 routine and emergency medical care on behalf of the parent shall 175 be granted only upon the separate consent of the parent pursuant 176 to s. 743.0645. The contract for care must at a minimum be 177 signed by: 178 1. The parent or both parents if both parents are living 179 and have shared responsibility and timesharing of the child 180 pursuant to law or a court order. If the parents do not have 181 shared responsibility and timesharing of the child, the parent 182 having sole parental responsibility of the child has the 183 authority to enter into the contract for care but shall notify 184 the other parent in writing of the name and address of the 185 volunteer respite family. Such notification must be provided by 186 certified mail, return receipt requested, to the parent without 187 parental responsibility at his or her last known address within 188 5 days after the contract for care is signed. Notification to a 189 parent whose parental rights have been terminated is not 190 required. 191 2. All members of the volunteer respite family who are 18 192 years of age or older. 193 3. The representative of the organization who assisted with 194 the child’s placement with the volunteer respite family. 195 4. Two subscribing witnesses. 196 (b) The contract for care must include: 197 1. A statement that the contract does not deprive the 198 parent of any parental or legal authority regarding the care and 199 custody of the child or supersede a court order regarding the 200 care and custody of the child. 201 2. A statement that the contract may be revoked or 202 withdrawn at any time by the parent and that custody of the 203 child shall be returned to the parent as soon as reasonably 204 possible. 205 3. The basic services and accommodations provided by the 206 volunteer respite family and organization. 207 4. Identification of the child, the parent, and the members 208 of the volunteer respite family, including contact information 209 for all parties. 210 5. Identification of the organization, including contact 211 information for the organization and the representative who 212 assisted with the child’s placement. 213 6. A statement regarding disciplinary procedures that are 214 used by the volunteer respite family and expectations regarding 215 interactions between the volunteer respite family and the child. 216 The statement must identify the child’s known behavioral or 217 emotional issues and how such issues are addressed by the 218 child’s parent. 219 7. A statement of the minimum expected frequency of contact 220 between the parent and the child, expectations for the volunteer 221 respite family to facilitate any reasonable request for contact 222 with the child outside of the established schedule, and the 223 minimum expected frequency of contact between the parent and the 224 volunteer respite family to discuss the child’s well-being and 225 health. 226 8. A statement regarding the child’s educational needs, 227 including the name and address of the child’s school and the 228 names of the child’s teachers. 229 9. A list of extracurricular, religious, or community 230 activities and programs in which the child participates. 231 10. A list of any special dietary or nutritional 232 requirements of the child. 233 11. A description of the child’s medical needs, including 234 any diagnoses, allergies, therapies, treatments, or medications 235 prescribed to the child and the expectations for the volunteer 236 respite family to address such medical needs. 237 12. A statement that the volunteer respite family agrees to 238 act in the best interests of the child and to consider all 239 reasonable wishes and expectations of the parent concerning the 240 care and comfort of the child. 241 13. A statement that all appropriate members of the 242 volunteer respite family have successfully met the personnel 243 screening requirements pursuant to paragraph (3)(b). 244 14. An expiration date for each contract for care, which 245 may not exceed 90 days in duration. 246 15. A statement that the goal of the organization, 247 volunteer respite family, and parent is to return the child 248 receiving temporary respite care to the parent as soon as the 249 situation requiring such care has been resolved. 250 16. A requirement that the volunteer respite family 251 immediately notify the parent of the child’s need for medical 252 care. 253 (c) The parent may revoke or withdraw the contract for care 254 at any time, and the child shall be returned immediately to the 255 custody of the parent. A contract for care executed under this 256 section expires automatically after 90 days and may not operate 257 to deprive a parent of any parental or legal authority regarding 258 the care and custody of the child or supersede a court order 259 regarding the care and custody of the child. 260 (5) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.—Any organization that is 261 registered with a qualified association shall immediately notify 262 the department if it has in its care: 263 (a) A child with a serious developmental disability or a 264 physical, emotional, or mental handicap for which the 265 organization is not qualified or able to provide care; or 266 (b) A child who has not been returned to a parent when the 267 contract expires. 268 (6) APPLICABILITY.—Placement of a child under this section 269 without additional evidence does not constitute abandonment, 270 abuse, or neglect, as defined in s. 39.01, and is not considered 271 to be placement of the child in foster care. However, this 272 section does not prevent the department or a law enforcement 273 agency from investigating allegations of abandonment, abuse, 274 neglect, unlawful desertion of a child, or human trafficking. 275 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.