Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 634
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
       (Rouson) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 72 - 286
    4  and insert:
    5  caregiver names.—Subject to an appropriation, the Department of
    6  Law Enforcement shall provide information to a law enforcement
    7  officer stating whether a person is a parent or caregiver who is
    8  currently the subject of a child protective investigation for
    9  alleged child abuse, abandonment, or neglect or is a parent or
   10  caregiver of a child who has been allowed to return to or remain
   11  in the home under judicial supervision after an adjudication of
   12  dependency. This information shall be provided via a Florida
   13  Crime Information Center query into the department’s child
   14  protection database.
   15         (1)If a law enforcement officer has an interaction with a
   16  parent or caregiver as described in this section and the
   17  interaction results in the officer having a concern about a
   18  child’s health, safety, or well-being, the law enforcement
   19  officer shall report the relevant details of the interaction to
   20  the central abuse hotline immediately after the interaction even
   21  if the requirements of s. 39.201, relating to reporting of
   22  knowledge or suspicion of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, are
   23  not met.
   24         (2)The central abuse hotline shall provide any relevant
   25  information to:
   26         (a)The child protective investigator, if the parent or
   27  caregiver is the subject of a child protective investigation; or
   28         (b)The child’s case manager and the attorney representing
   29  the department, if the parent or caregiver has a child under
   30  judicial supervision after an adjudication of dependency.
   31         Section 4. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
   32  39.8296, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   33         39.8296 Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office; legislative
   34  findings and intent; creation; appointment of executive
   35  director; duties of office.—
   36         (2) STATEWIDE GUARDIAN AD LITEM OFFICE.—There is created a
   37  Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office within the Justice
   38  Administrative Commission. The Justice Administrative Commission
   39  shall provide administrative support and service to the office
   40  to the extent requested by the executive director within the
   41  available resources of the commission. The Statewide Guardian Ad
   42  Litem Office shall not be subject to control, supervision, or
   43  direction by the Justice Administrative Commission in the
   44  performance of its duties, but the employees of the office shall
   45  be governed by the classification plan and salary and benefits
   46  plan approved by the Justice Administrative Commission.
   47         (b) The Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office shall, within
   48  available resources, have oversight responsibilities for and
   49  provide technical assistance to all guardian ad litem and
   50  attorney ad litem programs located within the judicial circuits.
   51         1. The office shall identify the resources required to
   52  implement methods of collecting, reporting, and tracking
   53  reliable and consistent case data.
   54         2. The office shall review the current guardian ad litem
   55  programs in Florida and other states.
   56         3. The office, in consultation with local guardian ad litem
   57  offices, shall develop statewide performance measures and
   58  standards.
   59         4. The office shall develop a guardian ad litem training
   60  program, which shall include, but not be limited to, training on
   61  the recognition of and responses to head trauma and brain injury
   62  in a child under 6 years of age. The office shall establish a
   63  curriculum committee to develop the training program specified
   64  in this subparagraph. The curriculum committee shall include,
   65  but not be limited to, dependency judges, directors of circuit
   66  guardian ad litem programs, active certified guardians ad litem,
   67  a mental health professional who specializes in the treatment of
   68  children, a member of a child advocacy group, a representative
   69  of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and a social
   70  worker experienced in working with victims and perpetrators of
   71  child abuse.
   72         5. The office shall review the various methods of funding
   73  guardian ad litem programs, shall maximize the use of those
   74  funding sources to the extent possible, and shall review the
   75  kinds of services being provided by circuit guardian ad litem
   76  programs.
   77         6. The office shall determine the feasibility or
   78  desirability of new concepts of organization, administration,
   79  financing, or service delivery designed to preserve the civil
   80  and constitutional rights and fulfill other needs of dependent
   81  children.
   82         7. In an effort to promote normalcy and establish trust
   83  between a court-appointed volunteer guardian ad litem and a
   84  child alleged to be abused, abandoned, or neglected under this
   85  chapter, a guardian ad litem may transport a child. However, a
   86  guardian ad litem volunteer may not be required or directed by
   87  the program or a court to transport a child.
   88         8. The office shall submit to the Governor, the President
   89  of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and
   90  the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court an interim report
   91  describing the progress of the office in meeting the goals as
   92  described in this section. The office shall submit to the
   93  Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House
   94  of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court a
   95  proposed plan including alternatives for meeting the state’s
   96  guardian ad litem and attorney ad litem needs. This plan may
   97  include recommendations for less than the entire state, may
   98  include a phase-in system, and shall include estimates of the
   99  cost of each of the alternatives. Each year the office shall
  100  provide a status report and provide further recommendations to
  101  address the need for guardian ad litem services and related
  102  issues.
  103         Section 5. Subsections (2) and (4) of section 402.402,
  104  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  105         402.402 Child protection and child welfare personnel;
  106  attorneys employed by the department.—
  107         (2) SPECIALIZED TRAINING.—All child protective
  108  investigators and child protective investigation supervisors
  109  employed by the department or a sheriff’s office must complete
  110  the following specialized training:
  111         (a)Training on the recognition of and responses to head
  112  trauma and brain injury in a child under 6 years of age.
  113         (b)Training that is either focused on serving a specific
  114  population, including, but not limited to, medically fragile
  115  children, sexually exploited children, children under 3 years of
  116  age, or families with a history of domestic violence, mental
  117  illness, or substance abuse, or focused on performing certain
  118  aspects of child protection practice, including, but not limited
  119  to, investigation techniques and analysis of family dynamics.
  120  The specialized training may be used to fulfill continuing
  121  education requirements under s. 402.40(3)(e). Individuals hired
  122  before July 1, 2014, shall complete the specialized training by
  123  June 30, 2016, and individuals hired on or after July 1, 2014,
  124  shall complete the specialized training within 2 years after
  125  hire. An individual may receive specialized training in multiple
  126  areas.
  128  WELFARE CASES.—Attorneys hired on or after July 1, 2014, whose
  129  primary responsibility is representing the department in child
  130  welfare cases shall, within the first 6 months of employment,
  131  receive training in all of the following:
  132         (a) The dependency court process, including the attorney’s
  133  role in preparing and reviewing documents prepared for
  134  dependency court for accuracy and completeness.;
  135         (b) Preparing and presenting child welfare cases, including
  136  at least 1 week shadowing an experienced children’s legal
  137  services attorney preparing and presenting cases.;
  138         (c) Safety assessment, safety decisionmaking tools, and
  139  safety plans.;
  140         (d) Developing information presented by investigators and
  141  case managers to support decisionmaking in the best interest of
  142  children.; and
  143         (e) The experiences and techniques of case managers and
  144  investigators, including shadowing an experienced child
  145  protective investigator and an experienced case manager for at
  146  least 8 hours.
  147         (f)The recognition of and responses to head trauma and
  148  brain injury in a child under 6 years of age.
  149         Section 6. Paragraph (f) of subsection (1) and subsection
  150  (3) of section 409.988, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  151         409.988 Lead agency duties; general provisions.—
  152         (1) DUTIES.—A lead agency:
  153         (f) Shall ensure that all individuals providing care for
  154  dependent children receive appropriate training and meet the
  155  minimum employment standards established by the department.
  156  Appropriate training shall include, but is not limited to,
  157  training on the recognition of and responses to head trauma and
  158  brain injury in a child under 6 years of age.
  159         (3) SERVICES.—A lead agency must provide dependent children
  160  with services that are supported by research or that are
  161  recognized as best practices in the child welfare field. The
  162  agency shall give priority to the use of services that are
  163  evidence-based and trauma-informed and may also provide other
  164  innovative services, including, but not limited to, family
  165  centered and cognitive-behavioral interventions designed to
  166  mitigate out-of-home placements and intensive family
  167  reunification services that combine child welfare and mental
  168  health services for families with dependent children under 6
  169  years of age.
  170         Section 7. Subsection (24) is added to section 409.996,
  171  Florida Statutes, to read:
  172         409.996 Duties of the Department of Children and Families.
  173  The department shall contract for the delivery, administration,
  174  or management of care for children in the child protection and
  175  child welfare system. In doing so, the department retains
  176  responsibility for the quality of contracted services and
  177  programs and shall ensure that services are delivered in
  178  accordance with applicable federal and state statutes and
  179  regulations.
  180         (24)Subject to an appropriation, the department, in
  181  collaboration with the lead agencies serving the judicial
  182  circuits selected in paragraph (a), may create and implement a
  183  program to more effectively provide case management services for
  184  dependent children under 6 years of age.
  185         (a)The department may select up to three judicial circuits
  186  in which to develop and implement a program under this
  187  subsection. Priority shall be given to a circuit that has a high
  188  removal rate, significant budget deficit, significant case
  189  management turnover rate, and the highest numbers of children in
  190  out-of-home care or a significant increase in the number of
  191  children in out-of-home care over the last 3 fiscal years.
  192         (b)The program shall:
  193         1.Include caseloads for dependency case managers comprised
  194  solely of children who are under 6 years of age, except as
  195  provided in paragraph (c). The maximum caseload for a case
  196  manager shall be no more than 15 children if possible.
  197         2.Include case managers who are trained specifically in:
  198         a.Critical child development for children under 6 years of
  199  age.
  200         b.Specific practices of child care for children under 6
  201  years of age.
  202         c.The scope of community resources available to children
  203  under 6 years of age.
  204         d.Working with a parent or caregiver and assisting him or
  205  her in developing the skills necessary to care for the health,
  206  safety, and well-being of a child under 6 years of age.
  207         (c)If a child being served through the program has a
  208  dependent sibling, the sibling may be assigned to the same case
  209  manager as the child being served through the program; however,
  210  each sibling counts toward the case manager’s maximum caseload
  211  as provided under paragraph (b).
  212         (d)The department shall evaluate the permanency, safety,
  213  and well-being of children being served through the program and
  214  submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate,
  215  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by October 1,
  216  2024, detailing its findings.
  217         Section 8. Section 943.17297, Florida Statutes, is created
  218  to read:
  219         943.17297Training in the recognition of and responses to
  220  head trauma and brain injury.—Subject to an appropriation, the
  221  commission shall establish
  223  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  224  And the title is amended as follows:
  225         Delete lines 9 - 42
  226  and insert:
  227         officers relating to specified individuals, subject to
  228         an appropriation; providing how such information shall
  229         be provided to law enforcement officers; providing
  230         requirements for law enforcement officers and the
  231         central abuse hotline relating to specified
  232         interactions with certain persons and how to relay
  233         details of such interactions; amending s. 39.8296,
  234         F.S.; requiring that the guardian ad litem training
  235         program include training on the recognition of and
  236         responses to head trauma and brain injury in children
  237         younger than a specified age; amending s. 402.402,
  238         F.S.; requiring certain investigators, supervisors,
  239         and attorneys to complete training on the recognition
  240         of and responses to head trauma and brain injury in
  241         specified children; amending s. 409.988, F.S.;
  242         requiring lead agencies to provide certain individuals
  243         with training on the recognition of and responses to
  244         head trauma and brain injury in specified children;
  245         authorizing lead agencies to provide intensive family
  246         reunification services that combine child welfare and
  247         mental health services to certain families; amending
  248         s. 409.996, F.S.; requiring the department and certain
  249         lead agencies to create and implement a program to
  250         more effectively provide case management services to
  251         specified children, subject to an appropriation;
  252         providing criteria for selecting judicial circuits for
  253         participation the program; specifying requirements of
  254         the program; requiring the Department of Children and
  255         families to evaluate the effectiveness of the program
  256         and submit a report to the Legislature and Governor by
  257         a specified date; creating s. 943.17297, F.S.;
  258         requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and Training
  259         Commission to incorporate specified training for law
  260         enforcement officers, subject to an appropriation;
  261         requiring law enforcement officers, as of a