Florida Senate - 2019 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 1432 Ì166660*Î166660 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Baxley) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Section 39.4087, Florida Statutes, is created to 6 read: 7 39.4087 Bill of rights for foster parents.— 8 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Foster 9 Parent Bill of Rights.” 10 (2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—The Legislature finds that foster 11 parents providing care for children who are in the custody of 12 the department play an integral, indispensable, and vital role 13 in the state’s effort to care for dependent children displaced 14 from their homes. The Legislature further finds that it is in 15 the best interest of the state’s child welfare system to 16 acknowledge foster parents as active and participating members 17 of this system and to support them through a bill of rights for 18 foster parents who care for children in the custody of the 19 department through direct approval and placement by the 20 department. 21 (3) BILL OF RIGHTS.—To the extent not otherwise prohibited 22 by general law, the department shall implement each of the 23 following policies. With respect to the placement of any foster 24 child with a foster parent that is contracted directly with the 25 department, or through an agency that contracts with the 26 department to place children in foster care: 27 (a) The department shall treat a foster parent with 28 dignity, respect, and trust, and shall consider a foster parent 29 as a member of the professional team caring for foster children. 30 (b) The department shall provide a foster parent with a 31 clear explanation and understanding of the role of the 32 department and the role of the members of the child’s birth 33 family. 34 (c) A foster parent may continue his or her own family 35 values and routines. 36 (d) A foster parent shall be provided training and support 37 for the purposes of improving skills in providing daily care, 38 meeting the special needs of the child in foster care, and 39 having a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities 40 of the foster parent. 41 (e) Before the placement of a child in foster care, the 42 department shall inform the foster parent of issues relative to 43 the child that may jeopardize the health and safety of the 44 foster family or alter the manner in which foster care should be 45 administered. 46 (f) The department shall fully disclose to the foster 47 parent any information regarding past or pending charges of 48 delinquency as a juvenile; criminal charges, if charged as an 49 adult; and previous hospitalizations, whether due to mental or 50 physical issues, of the foster child. 51 (g) The department shall provide a means by which the 52 foster parent can contact the department 24 hours a day, 7 days 53 a week for the purpose of receiving assistance. 54 (h) The department shall provide the foster parent timely 55 and adequate financial reimbursement. 56 (i) The department shall provide a clear, written 57 explanation of the plan concerning the placement of a child in 58 the foster parent’s home. For emergency placements, the 59 department shall provide such explanation as soon as reasonably 60 possible. 61 (j) Before placement in a foster home, unless there is the 62 need for an emergency placement, the department shall allow the 63 foster parent to review written information concerning the child 64 and allow the foster parent to assist in determining if the 65 prospective foster family is the proper placement for the child. 66 (k) The department shall allow the foster parent to refuse 67 placement in his or her home, or to request, upon reasonable 68 notice to the department, the removal of a child from his or her 69 home for good reason, without threat of reprisal, unless 70 otherwise stipulated by contract or policy. 71 (l) The department shall inform a foster parent of 72 decisions made by the court or the licensed child-placing agency 73 concerning the child. 74 (m) The department shall allow the foster parent to 75 communicate with any person who works directly with the foster 76 child, such as therapists, physicians, and teachers, with 77 written consent of the person. 78 (n) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, a foster parent has 79 the right to full disclosure of all medical, psychological, and 80 behavioral issues of the child in his or her care. The 81 department shall provide all information regarding the child and 82 the child’s family background and health history in a timely 83 manner to the foster parent. 84 (o) The department shall provide timely written 85 notification of changes to the case plan or termination of the 86 placement, and the reasons for the changes or termination of 87 placement. 88 (p) The department shall notify the foster parent of all 89 court hearings and any meeting pertaining to the child in his or 90 her care at least 7 days before such hearing or meeting. The 91 foster parent is permitted to attend such hearings or meetings 92 at the discretion of the court. 93 (q) The department shall provide, upon request by the 94 foster parent, information regarding the child’s progress after 95 a child leaves foster care, to the extent the department is in 96 possession of such information at the time of the request. 97 (r) The department shall take into consideration whether a 98 foster family is an appropriate permanent placement for the 99 child, if the child has been in the foster family’s care for 12 100 months or longer. 101 (s) The department shall consider a former foster family as 102 a placement option when a foster child reenters foster care. 103 (t) A foster parent may take a period of respite where the 104 department may not place foster children within the home upon 105 reasonable notice to the department. 106 (u) A foster parent may submit factually based written 107 statements relevant to the case to the court, as provided by 108 law. 109 (4) MEDIATION.—The department shall provide a foster parent 110 with information regarding the department’s mediation policy. A 111 foster parent may file for mediation upon a violation of this 112 section. 113 (5) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules to implement 114 this section. 115 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019. 116 117 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 118 And the title is amended as follows: 119 Delete everything before the enacting clause 120 and insert: 121 A bill to be entitled 122 An act relating to foster parents; creating s. 123 39.4087, F.S.; providing a short title; providing 124 legislative intent; creating a bill of rights for 125 foster parents; providing for mediation; requiring the 126 Department of Children and Families to adopt rules; 127 providing an effective date.