2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Responsibilities of the department during intake; screenings and assessments.
Responsibilities of the department during intake; screenings and assessments.
985.145 Responsibilities of the department during intake; screenings and assessments.—
(1) The department shall serve as the primary case manager for the purpose of managing, coordinating, and monitoring the services provided to the child. Each program administrator within the Department of Children and Families shall cooperate with the primary case manager in carrying out the duties and responsibilities described in this section. In addition to duties specified in other sections and through departmental rules, the department shall be responsible for the following:
(a) Reviewing probable cause affidavit.—The department shall make a preliminary determination as to whether the report, affidavit, or complaint is complete, consulting with the state attorney as may be necessary. A report, affidavit, or complaint alleging that a child has committed a delinquent act or violation of law shall be made to the intake office operating in the county in which the child is found or in which the delinquent act or violation of law occurred. Any person or agency having knowledge of the facts may make such a written report, affidavit, or complaint and shall furnish to the intake office facts sufficient to establish the jurisdiction of the court and to support a finding by the court that the child has committed a delinquent act or violation of law.
(b) Notification concerning apparent insufficiencies in probable cause affidavit.—In any case where the department or the state attorney finds that the report, affidavit, or complaint is insufficient by the standards for a probable cause affidavit, the department or state attorney shall return the report, affidavit, or complaint, without delay, to the person or agency originating the report, affidavit, or complaint or having knowledge of the facts or to the appropriate law enforcement agency having investigative jurisdiction of the offense, and shall request, and the person or agency shall promptly furnish, additional information in order to comply with the standards for a probable cause affidavit.
(c) Screening.—During the intake process, the department shall screen each child or shall cause each child to be screened in order to determine:
1. Appropriateness for release; referral to a diversionary program, including, but not limited to, a teen court program; referral for community arbitration; or referral to some other program or agency for the purpose of nonofficial or nonjudicial handling.
2. The presence of medical, psychiatric, psychological, substance abuse, educational, or career and technical education problems, or other conditions that may have caused the child to come to the attention of law enforcement or the department. The child shall also be screened to determine whether the child poses a danger to himself or herself or others in the community. The results of this screening shall be made available to the court and to court officers. In cases where such conditions are identified and a nonjudicial handling of the case is chosen, the department shall attempt to refer the child to a program or agency, together with all available and relevant assessment information concerning the child’s precipitating condition.
(d) Completing risk assessment instrument.—The department shall ensure that a risk assessment instrument establishing the child’s eligibility for detention has been accurately completed and that the appropriate recommendation was made to the court.
(e) Rights.—The department shall inquire as to whether the child understands his or her rights to counsel and against self-incrimination.
(f) Multidisciplinary assessment.—The department shall coordinate the multidisciplinary assessment when required, which includes the classification and placement process that determines the child’s priority needs, risk classification, and treatment plan. When sufficient evidence exists to warrant a comprehensive assessment and the child fails to voluntarily participate in the assessment efforts, the department shall inform the court of the need for the assessment and the refusal of the child to participate in such assessment. This assessment, classification, and placement process shall develop into the predisposition report.
(g) Comprehensive assessment.—The department, pursuant to uniform procedures established by the department and upon determining that the report, affidavit, or complaint is complete, shall:
1. Perform the preliminary screening and make referrals for a comprehensive assessment regarding the child’s need for substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, intellectual disability services, literacy services, or other educational or treatment services.
2. If indicated by the preliminary screening, provide for a comprehensive assessment of the child and family for substance abuse problems, using community-based licensed programs with clinical expertise and experience in the assessment of substance abuse problems.
3. If indicated by the preliminary screening, provide for a comprehensive assessment of the child and family for mental health problems, using community-based psychologists, psychiatrists, or other licensed mental health professionals who have clinical expertise and experience in the assessment of mental health problems.
(h) Referrals for services.—The department shall make recommendations for services and facilitate the delivery of those services to the child, including any mental health services, educational services, family counseling services, family assistance services, and substance abuse services.
(i) Recommendation concerning a petition.—Upon determining that the report, affidavit, or complaint complies with the standards of a probable cause affidavit and that the interests of the child and the public will be best served, the department may recommend that a delinquency petition not be filed. If such a recommendation is made, the department shall advise in writing the person or agency making the report, affidavit, or complaint, the victim, if any, and the law enforcement agency having investigative jurisdiction over the offense of the recommendation; the reasons therefor; and that the person or agency may submit, within 10 days after the receipt of such notice, the report, affidavit, or complaint to the state attorney for special review. The state attorney, upon receiving a request for special review, shall consider the facts presented by the report, affidavit, or complaint, and by the department who made the recommendation that no petition be filed, before making a final decision as to whether a petition or information should or should not be filed.
(j) Completing intake report.—Subject to the interagency agreement authorized under this paragraph, the department shall submit a written report to the state attorney for each case in which a child is alleged to have committed a violation of law or delinquent act and is not detained. The report shall be submitted within 20 days after the date the child is taken into custody and include the original police report, complaint, or affidavit, or a copy thereof, and a copy of the child’s prior juvenile record. In cases in which the child is in detention, the intake office report must be submitted within 24 hours after the child is placed into detention. The intake office report may include a recommendation that a petition or information be filed or that no petition or information be filed and may set forth reasons for the recommendation. The state attorney and the department may, on a district-by-district basis, enter into interagency agreements denoting the cases that will require a recommendation and those for which a recommendation is unnecessary.
(2) Prior to requesting that a delinquency petition be filed or prior to filing a dependency petition, the department may request the parent or legal guardian of the child to attend a course of instruction in parenting skills, training in conflict resolution, and the practice of nonviolence; to accept counseling; or to receive other assistance from any agency in the community which notifies the clerk of the court of the availability of its services. Where appropriate, the department shall request both parents or guardians to receive such parental assistance. The department may, in determining whether to request that a delinquency petition be filed, take into consideration the willingness of the parent or legal guardian to comply with such request. The parent or guardian must provide the department with identifying information, including the parent’s or guardian’s name, address, date of birth, social security number, and driver license number or identification card number in order to comply with s. 985.039.
(3) When indicated by the comprehensive assessment, the department is authorized to contract within appropriated funds for services with a local nonprofit community mental health or substance abuse agency licensed or authorized under chapter 394 or chapter 397 or other authorized nonprofit social service agency providing related services. The determination of mental health or substance abuse services shall be conducted in coordination with existing programs providing mental health or substance abuse services in conjunction with the intake office.
(4) Client information resulting from the screening and evaluation shall be documented under rules of the department and shall serve to assist the department in providing the most appropriate services and recommendations in the least intrusive manner. Such client information shall be used in the multidisciplinary assessment and classification of the child, but such information, and any information obtained directly or indirectly through the assessment process, is inadmissible in court prior to the disposition hearing, unless the child’s written consent is obtained. At the disposition hearing, documented client information shall serve to assist the court in making the most appropriate custody, adjudicatory, and dispositional decision.
(5) If the screening and assessment indicate that the interests of the child and the public will be best served, the department, with the approval of the state attorney, may refer the child for care, diagnostic, and evaluation services; substance abuse treatment services; mental health services; intellectual disability services; a diversionary, arbitration, or mediation program; community service work; or other programs or treatment services voluntarily accepted by the child and the child’s parents or legal guardian. If a child volunteers to participate in any work program under this chapter or volunteers to work in a specified state, county, municipal, or community service organization supervised work program or to work for the victim, the child is considered an employee of the state for the purposes of liability. In determining the child’s average weekly wage, unless otherwise determined by a specific funding program, all remuneration received from the employer is considered a gratuity, and the child is not entitled to any benefits otherwise payable under s. 440.15 regardless of whether the child may be receiving wages and remuneration from other employment with another employer and regardless of the child’s future wage-earning capacity.
(6) The victim, if any, and the law enforcement agency that investigated the offense shall be notified immediately by the state attorney of the action taken under subsection (5).
History.—s. 5, ch. 90-208; s. 16, ch. 93-39; s. 35, ch. 94-209; s. 12, ch. 95-267; s. 2, ch. 96-234; s. 18, ch. 97-238; s. 11, ch. 98-207; s. 2, ch. 99-257; s. 34, ch. 99-284; s. 17, ch. 2001-125; s. 2, ch. 2004-241; s. 24, ch. 2006-120; s. 47, ch. 2013-162; s. 347, ch. 2014-19; s. 12, ch. 2014-162; s. 11, ch. 2018-127; s. 75, ch. 2019-167.
Note.—Former s. 39.047(3)-(5); s. 985.21(3)-(5).