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   19         if the contract is revoked or withdrawn; specifying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.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.