Florida Senate - 2019 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 318 Ì193838PÎ193838 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Montford) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Subsections (2) and (5) of section 39.202, 6 Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 7 39.202 Confidentiality of reports and records in cases of 8 child abuse or neglect.— 9 (2) Except as provided in subsection (4), access to such 10 records, excluding the name of the reporter and the names of 11 instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2), school 12 administrators as defined in s. 1012.01(3)(c), and educational 13 support employees as described in s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have 14 provided information during a protective investigation which 15 shall be released only as provided in subsection (5), shall be 16 granted only to the following persons, officials, and agencies: 17 (a) Employees, authorized agents, or contract providers of 18 the department, the Department of Health, the Agency for Persons 19 with Disabilities, the Office of Early Learning, or county 20 agencies responsible for carrying out: 21 1. Child or adult protective investigations; 22 2. Ongoing child or adult protective services; 23 3. Early intervention and prevention services; 24 4. Healthy Start services; 25 5. Licensure or approval of adoptive homes, foster homes, 26 child care facilities, facilities licensed under chapter 393, 27 family day care homes, providers who receive school readiness 28 funding under part VI of chapter 1002, or other homes used to 29 provide for the care and welfare of children; 30 6. Employment screening for caregivers in residential group 31 homes; or 32 7. Services for victims of domestic violence when provided 33 by certified domestic violence centers working at the 34 department’s request as case consultants or with shared clients. 35 36 Also, employees or agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice 37 responsible for the provision of services to children, pursuant 38 to chapters 984 and 985. 39 (b) Criminal justice agencies of appropriate jurisdiction. 40 (c) The state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the 41 child resides or in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred. 42 (d) The parent or legal custodian of any child who is 43 alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and the 44 child, and their attorneys, including any attorney representing 45 a child in civil or criminal proceedings. This access must
shall46 be made available no later than 60 days after the department 47 receives the initial report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. 48 However, any information otherwise made confidential or exempt 49 by law may shallnot be released pursuant to this paragraph. 50 (e) Any person alleged in the report as having caused the 51 abuse, abandonment, or neglect of a child. This access must 52 shallbe made available no later than 60 days after the 53 department receives the initial report of abuse, abandonment, or 54 neglect and, when the alleged perpetrator is not a parent, must 55 shallbe limited to information involving the protective 56 investigation only and may shallnot include any information 57 relating to subsequent dependency proceedings. However, any 58 information otherwise made confidential or exempt by law may 59 shallnot be released pursuant to this paragraph. 60 (f) A court upon its finding that access to such records 61 may be necessary for the determination of an issue before the 62 court; however, such access must shallbe limited to inspection 63 in camera, unless the court determines that public disclosure of 64 the information contained therein is necessary for the 65 resolution of an issue then pending before it. 66 (g) A grand jury, by subpoena, upon its determination that 67 access to such records is necessary in the conduct of its 68 official business. 69 (h) Any appropriate official of the department or the 70 Agency for Persons with Disabilities who is responsible for: 71 1. Administration or supervision of the department’s 72 program for the prevention, investigation, or treatment of child 73 abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse, neglect, or 74 exploitation of a vulnerable adult, when carrying out his or her 75 official function; 76 2. Taking appropriate administrative action concerning an 77 employee of the department or the agency who is alleged to have 78 perpetrated child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or abuse, 79 neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult; or 80 3. Employing and continuing employment of personnel of the 81 department or the agency. 82 (i) Any person authorized by the department who is engaged 83 in the use of such records or information for bona fide 84 research, statistical, or audit purposes. Such individual or 85 entity shall enter into a privacy and security agreement with 86 the department and shall comply with all laws and rules 87 governing the use of such records and information for research 88 and statistical purposes. Information identifying the subjects 89 of such records or information shall be treated as confidential 90 by the researcher and may shallnot be released in any form. 91 (j) The Division of Administrative Hearings for purposes of 92 any administrative challenge. 93 (k) Any appropriate official of an a Floridaadvocacy 94 council in this state investigating a report of known or 95 suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect; the Auditor 96 General or the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government 97 Accountability for the purpose of conducting audits or 98 examinations pursuant to law; or the guardian ad litem for the 99 child. 100 (l) Employees or agents of an agency of another state that 101 has comparable jurisdiction to the jurisdiction described in 102 paragraph (a). 103 (m) The Public Employees Relations Commission for the sole 104 purpose of obtaining evidence for appeals filed pursuant to s. 105 447.207. Records may be released only after deletion of all 106 information which specifically identifies persons other than the 107 employee. 108 (n) Employees or agents of the Department of Revenue 109 responsible for child support enforcement activities. 110 (o) Any person in the event of the death of a child 111 determined to be a result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. 112 Information identifying the person reporting abuse, abandonment, 113 or neglect may shallnot be released. Any information otherwise 114 made confidential or exempt by law may shallnot be released 115 pursuant to this paragraph. 116 (p) An employee of the local school district who is 117 designated as a liaison between the school district and the 118 department pursuant to an interagency agreement required under 119 s. 39.0016 and the principal of a public school, private school, 120 or charter school where the child is a student. Information 121 contained in the records which the liaison or the principal 122 determines are necessary for a school employee to effectively 123 provide a student with educational services may be released to 124 that employee. 125 (q) An employee or agent of the Department of Education who 126 is responsible for the investigation or prosecution of 127 misconduct by a certified educator. 128 (r) Staff of a children’s advocacy center that is 129 established and operated under s. 39.3035. 130 (s) A physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, 131 a psychologist licensed under chapter 490, or a mental health 132 professional licensed under chapter 491 engaged in the care or 133 treatment of the child. 134 (t) Persons with whom the department is seeking to place 135 the child or to whom placement has been granted, including 136 foster parents for whom an approved home study has been 137 conducted, the designee of a licensed residential group home 138 described in s. 39.523, an approved relative or nonrelative with 139 whom a child is placed pursuant to s. 39.402, preadoptive 140 parents for whom a favorable preliminary adoptive home study has 141 been conducted, adoptive parents, or an adoption entity acting 142 on behalf of preadoptive or adoptive parents. 143 (5)(a) The name of any person reporting child abuse, 144 abandonment, or neglect may not be released to any person other 145 than employees of the department responsible for child 146 protective services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement, 147 the child protection team, or the appropriate state attorney, 148 without the written consent of the person reporting. This does 149 not prohibit the subpoenaing of a person reporting child abuse, 150 abandonment, or neglect when deemed necessary by the court, the 151 state attorney, or the department, provided the fact that such 152 person made the report is not disclosed. Any person who reports 153 a case of child abuse or neglect may, at the time he or she 154 makes the report, request that the department notify him or her 155 that a child protective investigation occurred as a result of 156 the report. Any person specifically listed in s. 39.201(1) who 157 makes a report in his or her official capacity may also request 158 a written summary of the outcome of the investigation. The 159 department must shallmail such a notice to the reporter within 160 10 days after completing the child protective investigation. 161 (b) The names of instructional personnel as defined in s. 162 1012.01(2), school administrators as defined in s. 163 1012.01(3)(c), and educational support employees as described in 164 s. 1012.01(6)(a) who provide information during a protective 165 investigation may not be released to any person other than 166 employees of the department responsible for child protective 167 services, the central abuse hotline, law enforcement, the child 168 protection team, or the appropriate state attorney without the 169 written consent of such personnel. This does not prohibit the 170 subpoenaing of a person contributing information to an 171 investigation of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect when 172 deemed necessary by the court, the state attorney, or the 173 department. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government 174 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand 175 repealed on October 2, 2024, unless reviewed and saved from 176 repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 177 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 178 necessity that information that is exempt or confidential and 179 exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), 180 Article I of the State Constitution remain exempt or 181 confidential for instructional personnel as defined in s. 182 1012.01(2), school administrators as defined in s. 183 1012.01(3)(c), and educational support employees as described in 184 s. 1012.01(6)(a) who have provided information during a 185 protective investigation. Otherwise, sensitive personal 186 information concerning school employees would be disclosed, and 187 such employees may experience harassment or harm from family, 188 fictive kin, or friends of the alleged victim of child abuse. 189 Such harassment may inhibit such employees from providing 190 important information to a child abuse investigation. The harm 191 that would result from the release of such information 192 substantially outweighs any public benefit that would be 193 achieved by disclosure. 194 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019. 195 196 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 197 And the title is amended as follows: 198 Delete everything before the enacting clause 199 and insert: 200 A bill to be entitled 201 An act relating to child abuse, abandonment, and 202 neglect; amending s. 39.202, F.S.; prohibiting the 203 Department of Children and Families from releasing the 204 names of school personnel who have provided 205 information during a protective investigation except 206 under certain circumstances; providing for future 207 legislative review and repeal of the exemption; 208 conforming provisions to changes made by the act; 209 providing a statement of public necessity; ; providing 210 an effective date.