Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1432
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Baxley)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 39.4087, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         39.4087Bill 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.
  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.