Florida Senate - 2011                              CS for SB 380
       By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and
       Senator Wise
       586-01853-11                                           2011380c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the training and certification of
    3         child welfare personnel; amending s. 402.40, F.S.;
    4         revising legislative intent; defining the terms “child
    5         welfare certification,” “core competency,” “preservice
    6         curriculum,” and “third-party credentialing entity”;
    7         providing required criteria for the approval of
    8         credentialing entities that develop and administer
    9         certification programs for persons who provide child
   10         welfare services; revising the use of the Child
   11         Welfare Training Trust Fund within the Department of
   12         Children and Family Services; revising provisions
   13         relating to preservice curricula; requiring persons
   14         who provide child welfare services to be certified by
   15         a third-party credentialing entity; allowing entities
   16         to add to or augment preservice curriculum; allowing
   17         entities to contract for training; requiring persons
   18         to master core competencies; providing for recognition
   19         for currently certified persons; deleting requirements
   20         relating to certification and trainer qualifications;
   21         deleting provisions relating to training academies;
   22         amending s. 402.731, F.S.; authorizing approval of
   23         third-party credentialing entities; providing an
   24         effective date.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Section 402.40, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   29  read:
   30         402.40 Child welfare training and certification.—
   31         (1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—In order to enable the state to
   32  provide a systematic approach to staff development and training
   33  for persons providing child welfare services that will meet the
   34  needs of such staff in their discharge of duties, it is the
   35  intent of the Legislature that the Department of Children and
   36  Family Services work in collaboration with the child welfare
   37  stakeholder community, including department-approved third-party
   38  credentialing entities, to ensure that staff have the knowledge,
   39  skills, and abilities necessary to competently provide child
   40  welfare services establish, maintain, and oversee the operation
   41  of child welfare training academies in the state. It is the
   42  intent of the Legislature that each person providing child
   43  welfare services in this state earns and maintains a
   44  professional certification from a professional credentialing
   45  entity that is approved by the Department of Children and Family
   46  Services. The Legislature further intends that certification and
   47  the staff development and training programs that are established
   48  will aid in the reduction of poor staff morale and of staff
   49  turnover, will positively impact on the quality of decisions
   50  made regarding children and families who require assistance from
   51  programs providing child welfare services, and will afford
   52  better quality care of children who must be removed from their
   53  families.
   54         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   55         (a) “Child welfare certification” means a professional
   56  credential awarded by a department-approved third-party
   57  credentialing entity to individuals demonstrating core
   58  competency in any child welfare practice area.
   59         (b) (a) “Child welfare services” means any intake,
   60  protective investigations, preprotective services, protective
   61  services, foster care, shelter and group care, and adoption and
   62  related services program, including supportive services and,
   63  supervision, and legal services, provided to children who are
   64  alleged to have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, or who are
   65  at risk of becoming, are alleged to be, or have been found
   66  dependent pursuant to chapter 39.
   67         (c) “Core competency” means the minimum knowledge, skills,
   68  and abilities necessary to carry out work responsibilities.
   69         (d) (b) “Person providing child welfare services” means a
   70  person who has a responsibility for supervisory, legal, direct
   71  care, or support-related support related work in the provision
   72  of child welfare services pursuant to chapter 39.
   73         (e) “Preservice curriculum” means the minimum statewide
   74  training content based upon the core competencies that is to be
   75  made available to all persons providing child welfare services.
   76         (f) “Third-party credentialing entity” means a department
   77  approved nonprofit organization that has met nationally
   78  recognized standards for developing and administering
   79  professional certification programs.
   80         (3) THIRD-PARTY CREDENTIALING ENTITIES.—The department
   81  shall approve one or more third-party credentialing entities for
   82  the purpose of developing and administering child welfare
   83  certification programs for persons who provide child welfare
   84  services. A third-party credentialing entity shall request such
   85  approval in writing from the department. In order to obtain
   86  approval, the third-party credentialing entity must:
   87         (a) Establish professional requirements and standards that
   88  applicants must achieve in order to obtain a child welfare
   89  certification and to maintain such certification;
   90         (b) Develop and apply core competencies and examination
   91  instruments according to nationally recognized certification and
   92  psychometric standards;
   93         (c) Maintain a professional code of ethics and a
   94  disciplinary process that apply to all persons holding child
   95  welfare certification;
   96         (d) Maintain a database, accessible to the public, of all
   97  persons holding child welfare certification, including any
   98  history of ethical violations;
   99         (e) Require annual continuing education for persons holding
  100  child welfare certification; and
  101         (f) Administer a continuing education provider program to
  102  ensure that only qualified providers offer continuing education
  103  opportunities for certificateholders.
  104         (3) CHILD WELFARE TRAINING PROGRAM.—The department shall
  105  establish a program for training pursuant to the provisions of
  106  this section, and all persons providing child welfare services
  107  shall be required to participate in and successfully complete
  108  the program of training pertinent to their areas of
  109  responsibility.
  111         (a) There is created within the State Treasury a Child
  112  Welfare Training Trust Fund to be used by the Department of
  113  Children and Family Services for the purpose of funding the
  114  professional development a comprehensive system of child welfare
  115  training, including the securing of consultants to develop the
  116  system and the developing of child welfare training academies
  117  that include the participation of persons providing child
  118  welfare services.
  119         (b) One dollar from every noncriminal traffic infraction
  120  collected pursuant to s. 318.14(10)(b) or s. 318.18 shall be
  121  deposited into the Child Welfare Training Trust Fund.
  122         (c) In addition to the funds generated by paragraph (b),
  123  the trust fund shall receive funds generated from an additional
  124  fee on birth certificates and dissolution of marriage filings,
  125  as specified in ss. 382.0255 and 28.101, respectively, and may
  126  receive funds from any other public or private source.
  127         (d) Funds that are not expended by the end of the budget
  128  cycle or through a supplemental budget approved by the
  129  department shall revert to the trust fund.
  130         (5) CORE COMPETENCIES.—
  131         (a) The Department of Children and Family Services shall
  132  approve establish the core competencies and related preservice
  133  curricula for a single integrated curriculum that ensures that
  134  each person delivering child welfare services obtains the
  135  knowledge, skills, and abilities to competently carry out his or
  136  her work responsibilities. This curriculum may be a compilation
  137  of different development efforts based on specific subsets of
  138  core competencies that are integrated for a comprehensive
  139  curriculum required in the provision of child welfare services
  140  in this state.
  141         (b) The identification of these core competencies and
  142  development of preservice curricula shall be a collaborative
  143  effort that includes to include professionals who have with
  144  expertise in child welfare services, department-approved third
  145  party credentialing entities, and providers that will be
  146  affected by the curriculum, including to include, but not be
  147  limited to, representatives from the community-based care lead
  148  agencies, sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection
  149  investigations, and child welfare legal services providers.
  150         (c) Community-based care agencies, sheriffs’ offices, and
  151  the department may contract for the delivery of preservice and
  152  any additional training for persons delivering child welfare
  153  services as long as the curriculum satisfies the department
  154  approved core competencies. Notwithstanding s. 287.057(3) and
  155  (21), the department shall competitively solicit and contract
  156  for the development, validation, and periodic evaluation of the
  157  training curricula for the established single integrated
  158  curriculum. No more than one training curriculum may be
  159  developed for each specific subset of the core competencies.
  160         (d)Department-approved credentialing entities shall, for a
  161  period of at least 12 months following implementation of the
  162  third-party child welfare certification programs, grant
  163  reciprocity and award a child welfare certification to
  164  individuals who hold current department-issued child welfare
  165  certification in good standing, at no cost to the department or
  166  the certificateholder.
  167         (6) ADVANCED TRAINING.—The Department of Children and
  168  Family Services shall annually examine the advanced training
  169  that is needed by persons who deliver child welfare services in
  170  the state. This examination shall address whether the current
  171  advanced training provided should be continued and shall include
  172  the development of plans for incorporating any revisions to the
  173  advanced training determined necessary. This examination shall
  174  be conducted in collaboration with professionals with expertise
  175  in child welfare services and providers that will be affected by
  176  the curriculum, to include, but not be limited to,
  177  representatives from the community-based care lead agencies,
  178  sheriffs’ offices conducting child protection investigations,
  179  and child welfare legal services providers.
  181  department shall, in collaboration with the professionals and
  182  providers described in subsection (5), develop minimum standards
  183  for a certification process that ensures that participants have
  184  successfully attained the knowledge, skills, and abilities
  185  necessary to competently carry out their work responsibilities
  186  and shall develop minimum standards for trainer qualifications
  187  which must be required of training academies in the offering of
  188  the training curricula. Any person providing child welfare
  189  services shall be required to master the components of the
  190  curriculum that are particular to that person’s work
  191  responsibilities.
  192         (8) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRAINING ACADEMIES.—The department
  193  shall establish child welfare training academies as part of a
  194  comprehensive system of child welfare training. In establishing
  195  a program of training, the department may contract for the
  196  operation of one or more training academies to perform one or
  197  more of the following: to offer one or more of the training
  198  curricula developed under subsection (5); to administer the
  199  certification process; to develop, validate, and periodically
  200  evaluate additional training curricula determined to be
  201  necessary, including advanced training that is specific to a
  202  region or contractor, or that meets a particular training need;
  203  or to offer the additional training curricula. The number,
  204  location, and timeframe for establishment of training academies
  205  shall be approved by the Secretary of Children and Family
  206  Services who shall ensure that the goals for the core
  207  competencies and the single integrated curriculum, the
  208  certification process, the trainer qualifications, and the
  209  additional training needs are addressed. Notwithstanding s.
  210  287.057(3) and (21), the department shall competitively solicit
  211  all training academy contracts.
  212         (6)(9) ADOPTION OF RULES.—The Department of Children and
  213  Family Services shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the
  214  provisions of this section.
  215         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 402.731, Florida
  216  Statutes, is amended to read:
  217         402.731 Department of Children and Family Services
  218  certification programs for employees and service providers;
  219  employment provisions for transition to community-based care.—
  220         (1) The Department of Children and Family Services is
  221  authorized to approve third-party credentialing entities, as
  222  defined in s. 402.40, create certification programs for its
  223  employees and service providers to ensure that only qualified
  224  employees and service providers provide client services. The
  225  department is authorized to develop rules that include
  226  qualifications for certification, including training and testing
  227  requirements, continuing education requirements for ongoing
  228  certification, and decertification procedures to be used to
  229  determine when an individual no longer meets the qualifications
  230  for certification and to implement the decertification of an
  231  employee or agent.
  232         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2011.