Florida Senate - 2023                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 272
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/06/2023           .                                

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Garcia)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 39.4085,
    6  Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsections (4) and (5) are
    7  added to that section, to read:
    8  	39.4085 Goals for dependent children; responsibilities;
    9  education; Office of the Children’s Ombudsman.—
   10  	(3)(a) The case manager or other staff shall provide, at a
   11  minimum, verbal and written:
   12  	1.Instructions to a child entering shelter or foster care
   13  to educate the child on identifying and reporting abuse,
   14  abandonment, or neglect.
   15  	2.Information to a child about laws and requirements
   16  relating to the topic of normalcy and what that means for a
   17  child in out-of-home care; education; participation in court
   18  proceedings; participation in permanency planning, transition
   19  planning, and other case planning; placement, visitation, and
   20  contact with siblings, family, and other individuals who are
   21  important to the child; and access to food, clothing, shelter,
   22  and health care.
   24  The verbal and written instructions and information must use
   25  words and phrasing that each child can understand and must occur
   26  in a manner that is most effective for each child. The written
   27  instructions and information are only required if the child is
   28  of a sufficient age and understanding to receive such
   29  instructions and information. The case manager or other staff
   30  must give each child the opportunity to ask questions about his
   31  or her rights and how to identify and report abuse, abandonment,
   32  or neglect. The case manager or other staff shall document in
   33  court reports and case notes the date the instructions and
   34  information were was provided to the child. The case manager or
   35  other staff must review the instructions and information with
   36  the child every 6 months and upon every placement change until
   37  the child leaves shelter or foster care.
   38  	(4)The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman is established
   39  within the department. To the extent permitted by available
   40  resources, the office shall, at a minimum:
   41  	(a)Receive complaints from children and young adults about
   42  placement, care, and services and assist in mediating such
   43  concerns.
   44  	(b)Be a resource to identify and explain relevant polices
   45  or procedures to children, young adults, and their caregivers.
   46  	(c)Provide recommendations to the department to address
   47  systemic problems that are leading to complaints from children
   48  and young adults.
   49  	(5)The department shall consult with children and young
   50  adults who are currently or have formerly been in out-of-home
   51  care when creating or revising any print or digital written
   52  information used in implementing this section and use any
   53  responses or feedback to ensure that such print or digital
   54  written information is understandable by and appropriate and
   55  useful for the children and young adults of the ages for which
   56  such print or digital written information is intended.
   57  	Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.
   58  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   59  And the title is amended as follows:
   60         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   61  and insert:
   62                        A bill to be entitled                      
   63         An act relating to education for children and young
   64         adults in out-of-home care; amending s. 39.4085, F.S.;
   65         requiring a case manager or other staff member to
   66         provide a child with verbal and written information
   67         about certain topics; removing limitations on the type
   68         of questions a child may ask; establishing the Office
   69         of the Children’s Ombudsman within the Department of
   70         Children and Families; specifying responsibilities of
   71         the office; requiring the department to consult with
   72         specified children and young adults when creating or
   73         revising certain print or digital written information;
   74         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
   75         providing an effective date.